Some 1,632 students from different schools in the eastern part of the metropolis graduated from the Drug Abuse and Resistance Education (DARE) program want to teach kids the dangers of using illegal drugs and alcohol.
The DARE is a school-based drug prevention program adopted by EPD which taps active duty police officers to teach students from Grades 5-6 and even high school from different schools within metro-east to stay away from illegal drugs.
According to EPD director Chief Supt. Bernabe Balba, the program which was introduced in 2016 in different schools in the cities of Pasig, Marikina, Mandaluyong and San Juan was in support to President Rodrigo Duterte and Philippine National Police (PN) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde’s campaign against illegal drugs.
Balba said through the District Community Affairs and Development Unit, teachers and parents would get involved in the program wherein DARE police officers teach children to say no to drugs and avoid or put them in contact with drug pushers and stay away from them.
At present, 14 EPD members certified as DARE Officers are assigned to strengthen the police –community partnership in the fight against illegal drugs among school children and youth.
So far, around 1,632 pupils graduated from the program and at least 1,361 students are still undergoing the program and expected to finish at end of this school year.
Balba added they are hoping to expand the coverage to save youth from illegal drugs.
“We have been utilizing the DARE program for almost three years. I believe that this program is an effective tool to school children to keep them away from illegal drugs as well as gang affiliation and violence. At the same time, it will help promote a drug-free community. As they say, prevention is better than cure,” Balba added.
During the 10-week program, Grade 5 and 6 students were taught to resist drugs and violence through classroom education and school-related activities.