PDEA to parents: Play an active role in anti-drugs drive

BAGUIO CITY — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency’s  (PDEA) office in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) is taking a different strategy in the war against illegal drugs, asking parents and guardians to take an active role in the lives of the youth to prevent them from trying and being addicted to illegal substances.

PDEA-CAR Information Officer, lawyer Joseph Frederick Calulut, said Thursday they believed that one effective way of keeping the younger generation away from illegal drugs is for parents to do their job well in their family.

He said that children with good and responsible parents or guardians have lesser chances of going into the illegal drug activity because they are given proper guidance and attention.

“Some of our drug offenders are young children or youth. When we ask them why they became drug offenders, they said they were neglected by their own parents or guardians and no one looks after them,” Calulut said.

He added that some drug users had admitted that they were influenced by their peers.

“The way how the youth think today is different. As a parent, we need to listen to them first to better understand them. Gone are the days when children listened, obeyed and submitted to their parents or to the authorities,” Calulut said.

The PDEA officer said that the Cordillera region recorded 11 minors caught with illegal drugs, including two females, from Baguio, Benguet and Abra. Six of them served as drug couriers.

Last October, President Rodrigo Duterte gave to PDEA the primary responsibility of ridding the country of the illegal drug menace.

However, being undermanned with only 2,000 personnel all over the country, the PDEA is coming up with programs in partnership with other sectors to achieve its goal of solving the illegal drug problem.

Calulut said that to help them in their Information and Education Campaign, they partnered with agencies, among them the local offices of the departments of education, social welfare, and interior and local government,  including the municipal and barangay anti-drug abuse councils.

“We hope that with our partner agencies and the cooperation of parents, we could prevent the abuse of drugs among the youth,” he said.

The country is observing Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Week from Nov. 13 until Nov. 19 as mandated by Presidential Proclamation No. 124 issued on November 26, 2001.

The declaration aims to promote public awareness on the bad effects of prohibited drugs and to encourage public cooperation in the government’s anti-drug campaign. PNA-northboundasia.com