NATIONAL Capital Region Police Director Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde lauded the 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 the success of national government’s anti-drug campaign, 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 drug syndicates.
“Actually, more than 94 percent of barangays in the National Capital Region are drug-affected. So talagang kailangan na kailangan itong DARE program,” the NCRPO chief pointed out.
As a drug demand-reduction strategy, Albayalde said DARE complements the 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, ay ini-educate natin on the ill-effects of drugs. Most probably, hindi natin makita ‘yung epekto ngayon 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 be 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 Grades 5 and 6 students good decision-making skills and keep them away from drugs and other vices