AFP, PNP dare to teach kids to say no to drugs
SOLDIERS and policemen are teaming up to educate public school students in Manila on the bad effects of drugs.
Earlier, 29 members of the Philippine Army’s Civil Military Operations Group (CMOG) finished the 10-day Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Officers Training conducted by 14 policemen who completed the same program last year.
Since their graduation, the 14 lawmen have been teaching DARE lessons to Grades 5 and 6 students in public schools in Manila.
DARE, which originated from the United States, is a “classroom instruction program that taps active duty police officers to teach Grades 5 and 6 students good decision-making skills to keep them away from the influence of drugs and other vices,” the city government said in a statement on Saturday.
Estrada said the program was introduced in the country in 1993 when he was the Vice President. After being discontinued, it was revived in the city last year, he added.
According to Estrada, the 29 military men and women were a “welcome addition” to the current pool of DARE instructors in the city.
“We should not be surprised to see soldiers getting involved in the DARE program because after all, our President Rodrigo Duterte has declared (a) war on drugs,” Estrada said in his speech during the soldiers’ graduation rites held at city hall.
According to him, the DARE program “complements” Mr. Duterte’s campaign as a “demand reduction strategy.”
While the President’s program goes after drug lords, drug pushers and drug addicts, Estrada said that DARE “touches base with very young Filipinos who are often at the top of the list of victims of drug dealers.”
Curiosity put in check
“These ‘tulak’ (drug pushers) only have one objective: To get the attention of the child who, at the age of 10 and above, is by nature looking for new knowledge, exploring things in his surroundings,” he added.
With DARE, the “sphere of influence of the ‘tulak’ (pusher) becomes significantly smaller as the child’s curiosity is put in check.”
The program, Estrada said, would teach children to say no to drugs and avoid situations that could put them in contact with drug pushers and stay away from them.
Col. Thomas Sedano Jr., CMOG group commander, said the program could also be integrated with the Army’s Pinoy Batang Bayani program that teaches nationalism, patriotism and love of country to young children.
In his speech to the graduates, he said that he hoped that the “pilot project” would be “replicated” in other Army units.
“This is a first for the Philippine Army,” he said, thanking Estrada for their inclusion in the program.
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