NATIONAL Capital Region police director Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde cited Manila’s ‘Drug Abuse Resistance’ (DARE) program of Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada as “one of the best practices” worth emulating by other local government units.
While acknowledging that the national government’s anti-drug campaign has so far been successful in reducing the number of drug incidence in the country, Albayalde said there is still a need to implement anti-drug education programs at the local level to prevent school children from falling prey to the influence of drugs.
“Actually, more than 94 percent of barangays in NCR are drug-affected. So, talagang I think kailangan na kailangan itong DARE program,” the NCRPO chief pointed out.
As a drug demand reduction strategy, Albayalde said DARE complements the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) law enforcement operations against personalities and organizations involved in drug trafficking.
“Ang focus kasi natin dito, ang target natin dito ’yung mga kabataan. Grade 5 and 6 students, as early as that age ay ini-educate natin on the ill-effects of drugs.
“So most probably, hindi natin makita ngayon ’yung epekto dito pero sa next generation makikita natin ang epekto dito na talagang bababa ang demand on illegal drugs,” he explained.
Estrada, for his part, said it is “about time” a decisive action is being done to reduce the supply and demand for illegal drugs subsequent to its complete elimination.
The mayor made the remarks in his message during the graduation ceremonies for the 72 policemen and soldiers who completed the 80-hour DARE Officers Training (DOT) course held at the Manila Pavilion recently.
Estrada added the DARE program, which he initiated in 1993 during his stint as chairman of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission (PACC), fully complements the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.
“The DARE program targets the demand side of the drug trade. It is a preventive strategy that reduces the demand for drugs because it tells the truth about how destructive drugs really are.”
Originally from the US, DARE is a classroom instruction program that taps active duty police officers to teach Grade 5 and 6 students good decision-making skills and keep them away from drugs and other vices.