MANILA As part of the continuing campaign aimed at reducing demand for illegal drugs, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is pushing for the creation of a uniform anti-drug advocacy program for Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) nationwide.
According to PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino, the uniformed anti-drug advocacy programs for SK will be implemented in coordination with the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
During the SK Summit in Bren Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga last Aug. 2, Aquino urged the 8,000 SK officials who attended the event to organize less basketball tournaments and beauty pageants and focus more on organizing anti-drug advocacy programs.
SKs has a 5 percent annual budget from the barangay funds that can be used for the implementation of anti-drug advocacy programs in their community, Aquino said.
Aquino also cited the capability of the youth in utilizing technology as a way to effectively disseminate information against the drug menace.
SK officials can use the different social media platforms in disseminating correct information to the youth. They can discourage young people from using illegal drugs and educate them on the harmful impact of this industry to an individual and to the society as a whole, he said, adding that youth leaders are also role models in their respective barangays, municipalities and cities.
We dream to have a country that is free of drug menace. We want to put an end to the killings and the criminality brought about by the illegal drug industry. We dream of a nation with proud and rich culture untainted by anomalies, corruption, greed and crime. We encourage you to share this dream and start putting it into reality, Aquino said.
The youth is the voice of this nation. So, we appeal to them to maximize such power and help the government change the future of this country. They have the capacity to communicate among their peers, reach out to them and understand them in many ways we cannot as adults, as parents, the PDEA chief added.
In a related development, the PDEA and the local government of Taguig conducted a two-day training program for the youth to provide them with coping skills to face situations which can lead to drug use.
Dubbed as Taguig officials and PDEA Youth Camp 2018, the training program was held on August 4-5, 2018 in Makiling Highlands Resort, Pansol, Laguna and spearheaded by Taguig Local Government Unit key officials under the leadership of Mayor Lani Cayetano and PDEA Anti-Drug Advocates.
Some 160 Sangguniang Kabataan chairmen, SK kagawad, student leaders from Polytechnic University of the Philippines and Technological University of the Philippines, and youth leaders from religious sectors participated in the two-day activity which is part of the series of Youth Camp to be rolled out this year.
Aquino said the camp tackled issues on the development of effective mechanism to reduce drug demand among the youth and to strengthen local law enforcement cooperation on drug-related cases affecting the youth.
It is my duty as the PDEA chief to complete this program aligned with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to intensify the fight against illegal drugs as we strengthen drug education among the youth because young people are vulnerable to illegal activities like illegal drug use, Aquino said in a statement.
During the two-day youth camp, the participants exchanged ideas, best practices, cultural experiences, talents and skills aimed at building a strong foundation to cope with challenges and situation which can lead to drug use and abuse.
Among the topics discussed are Republic Act 9165, or The Comprehensive Dangerous Act of 2002; Role of Youth, Teachers, Community and its Leaders; Resisting Drugs and Violence; Duties of Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (ADACs) and Barangay Anti- Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs); and the briefing for the Structure Program as Drug Advocates.
The conduct of a youth camp serves as a tool in solving the drug problem involving the youth, as they are more prone to be utilized in its proliferation leading in the increasing number of juvenile delinquents, Aquino noted.
Most prevention campaigns focus on youth as they are going to be the future leaders of the country, the PDEA chief noted. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency