Gov’t engages youth vs. Illegal drugs

The youth should help each other in avoiding drug addiction, a Capitol official said in a Wemboree Summer Youth Camp in Mount Manuggal, municipality of Balamban last May 29.

Illegal drugs have been considered as one of the biggest threat of Cebuano community, ranking it even higher to natural calamities, according to the survey made by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO).

Following the arrest of school teacher in a raid of a drug den in the south, the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Commission (CPADAC) is now coordinating with Department of Education to implement random drug testing for their teachers.

Joey Herrera, executive director, Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Commission (CPADAC), also said that by next year, they will start implementing the “Barkada Kontra Droga” program.

He said it is a program that would teach young students how to avoid drugs even after they finish college. He stated the common denominator why the young people use drugs is because of peer pressure.

He claimed that values formation is very important and this should start from the household.

Herrera admitted that they received information about teachers who are not only using drugs but selling as well. They are now taking the matter with the law enforcement agencies to validate the reports.

The summer camp was organized by the Capitol through the PDRRMO in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Cebu North-West District, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government under its Listo Program.

PDRRMO Head Baltazar Tribunalo Jr. said the youth are untapped messengers of disaster-related and emergency information.

The youth are part of the local disaster risk reduction and management council.

But beyond the legal requirement, what is at stake is the future of the children, whom Tribunalo called as “Agents of Change.”

Tribunalo said due to the climate change, the world is getting riskier and the children are increasingly becoming the most vulnerable sector.

Monsignor Guillermo said the summer youth camp provides the youth inclusive lessons. He said a person is not only responsible for himself and but he is also responsible for the society he belongs.

After the camp, the participants are encouraged to cascade knowledge, particularly on governance, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, and anti-drug abuse.

The selected participants came from the towns in third district: Aloguinsan, Asturias, Balamban, Barili, Toledo City, Tabuelan and Tuburan.