MOST of the children are introduced to drug use by their immediate environment, particularly through their parents, an official said.

City Anti-Drug Abuse Council Action Office Michael Denton Aportadera in an interview said based on their observation within the city, through their Tara na (Tabangan ang atong reformist aron naay asenso) Program, most of the children involved in drugs are children of reformists.

“The minors involved I have observed in the program implementation are children of the reformists, who are tempted to join the illegal practices due to poverty. Some are selling it, some are using it; so that they will have food in their house. That is an unacceptable reality, but we have to understand that because of livelihood problems, others are lost in their life and they tend to include children in their illegal activities,” Aportadera said in the vernacular.

He said the focus of the Tara na program are not just on an individual’s welfare but also on their whole family.

“Based on my observation, a reformist either man or woman usually have children so it is part of our project’s responsibility to include the children, so they are included in the requirement, it is family based, not individual,” he said.

He said the drug abuse problems boil down to family values, which should be strengthened for the benefit of the innocent children.

“If we will not guide the parents, and if they would not function the way they should function, the children will relay suffer because when the parent dies, the children will be left with no future,” he said.

Currently, there are some 11,000 drug surrenderers in the city and Aportadera said around 3,000 to 4,000 are already linked to various programs.

The Tara Na program of the city involves all 182 barangays and various agencies.

On Monday, November 6, the Local Government of Davao through the Davao City Social Services Development Office (CSSDO), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), National Council for the Welfare of Children, National Nutrition Council, Department of Justice, City Council, representatives, various organizations that support children, schools, and barangays launched on Monday the 25th Children’s Month with the theme, “Bata Iligtas sa Droga.”

Deputy Executive Director IV of the CWC, lawyer Marijoy D. Segui said that this year’s theme was approved by the CWC board and this is in line with the President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs.

Segui added that it is imperative for parents and concerned citizens of the country to take action in protecting children against the harmful effects of illegal drug use.

“This year’s theme is a wakeup call to everybody and a reminder for us to become vigilant to these threats to the safety of our children,” she added.

DSWD Assistant Secretary Jose Antonio Hernandez, who among yesterday’s special guests were, said their programs and services are aligned to help in the war on drugs.

“We focus on the strengthening families and communities, technical assistance sa local government kasi at the end of the day the local governments really need to work and move so ang mandate ng DSWD talaga is to provide technical assistance na mapalakas sila,” he said.

He said they have been roaming around local government units and providing assistance on what to do with the rehabilitation and reintegration.