CALBAYOG CITY- The first ever officers training on DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) was commended by Mayor Ronaldo Aquino as being timely considering that problem on illegal drugs is becoming rampant anew. The city mayor, however, stressed that while concerned security officials should do their best to address the menace, this cannot be totally addressed without the support of the community and proper information dissemination.

“Proper Education and information on the menace of drug abuse has been a generally accepted strategy. Indeed, the first objective is to prevent drug abuse among people before it starts,” Mayor Aquino, who was the guest speaker during the opening of the occasion held at the Calbayog City Sports Center last November 3, said. “Information and opinion molding are essential in order to keep the young people off from drugs, because curiosity, drug propaganda and peer pressure may mislead them into testing drugs,” he added. Mayor Aquino is the current chair of the Regional Peace and Order Council. He vow to address the problem on illegal drug as one of his priority as RPOC chair. DARE project coordinator Police Senior Supt. Cedrick Train, DRDA-PRO 8, spearheaded the activity, in coordination with the Samar Police Provincial Office through police provincial director S/Supt Nolasco Bathan and the Calbayog City Police Office through city police chief Supt. Glenn Oliver Cinco.

The training, which will end on Nov.12, is under supervision of Philip Josef Vera Cruz, legal division chief of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB). Vera Cruz gave lecture on Republic Act No. 9165 or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Police chiefs in the province and other officers who are to become instructors under the DARE program participated the 10-day training. Dr. Raul Agban, assistant schools division superintendent representing DepEd-Calbayog City for the in-school beneficiaries, and Betty Jane Arnejo, city social welfare and development officer, for the out-of-school youths (OSY), also joined the activity.

DARE is an international education program founded by Daryl Gates developed in 1983 that seeks to prevent use of controlled drugs, membership in gangs, and violent behavior.  It aims to teach effective peer resistance and refusal skills in psychosocial approach so that adolescents can say “no” to drugs and their friends who may want them to use drugs. The secondary goals of the program are to build the children’s social skills and enhance their self-esteem, as these are believed to be linked to adolescent drug use. (AIMEE CATALAN)