AT LEAST 55 participants from the Department of Education (DepEd) in Davao Occidental Division joined the Substance Abuse Prevention Education conducted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Davao in Malita on November 21, Monday.

PDEA-Davao officer-in-charge Iav Naravy Duquiatan said the 55 participants are coordinators, guidance counselor and prefects of discipline under DepEd Davao Occidental Division’s National Drug Education Program (Ndep).

The Substance Abuse Prevention Education was conducted in observance of the Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Week, which is celebrated every third week of November pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 124 issued last November 26, 2001.

Duquiatan said this year's theme is "Makinig Muna - Ang Pakikinig sa mga Bata o Kabataan ay Daan Upang Tulungan Silang Lumaki na Malusog at Ligtas."

She said this year's celebration aims to increase awareness among Filipinos on the detrimental effects of illegal drugs and substance abuse not only in health but also in social, economic, and political growth and development of the country.

"The trained personnel will be our force multipliers in the demand reduction campaign program in their respective schools," Duquiatan said.

Topics discussed were the Basic Drug Identification and Its Ill Effects, Signs and Symptoms of a Substance Abuser, Reasons Why People Turns to Drugs, Powers and Duties of Pdea and Salient Provisions of Republic Act 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Duquiatan said their personnel also discussed the Article IV, Section 44 of the Republic Act 9165, to exercise their mandate as the “Person in Authority” inside and within the immediate vicinity of the school.

She also said that PDEA-Davao believes that the most effective tool they have against drug abuse is proper education. (ICT)