After the passage of the SK Reform Law, the Dangerous Drugs Board puts premium to drug abuse prevention education as a way of strengthening the commitment of the Sangguniang Kabataan in President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs.

Now on its second year, the DDB collaborates with the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the National Youth Commission, and the National Movement of Young Legislators to instill the sense of responsibility among municipal, city, and provincial SK Federation Presidents. Among the concerns to be discussed are the important actions on Barangay Drug Clearing Program, Sagip Batang Solvent, the Drug-Free Workplace Policy, the establishment of Special Drug Education Centers, the functionality of Anti-Drug Abuse Councils and the Freedom of Information Campaign where the SKs play vital roles in implementing policies and related efforts.

The activity starts today at the Anchor Hotel, General Santos City and will run until 18 August 2019.

It aims to establish convergence between the SK structure at the barangay level and the barangay anti-drug abuse councils which are two integral structures that will help institutionalize drug abuse prevention and control at the village level.

DDB also looks at possible benchmarking of successes achieved in terms of youth involvement to champion the anti-drug agenda by the SK using the concept of youth empowerment and youth participation as key to effective governance. Having said this, it is equally necessary to highlight transparency, through the Freedom of Information, as one of the imperative aspects of good governance.

200 participants who are federation presidents are expected to actively engage themselves in the three-day activity. In initiating a “whole of nation approach” in addressing the drug problem, the youth sector must present itself as part of the solution to curb drug addiction at the grassroots level. Noting that communities are at the center of the government’s anti-drug campaign, recommendations and solutions must emanate from the community and by the community. As leaders of the community, we put SKs at the frontline of this desired action. To take advantage of this momentum, it is pivotal that they would be properly capacitated to lead such roles.

DDB Chairman (Secretary) Catalino Cuy is set to keynote the opening ceremonies. Other key officials are expected to deliver talks and messages, such as NYC Chairman (Undersecretary) Ryan Enriquez, DILG Undersecretary Ricojudge Echiverri, DDB Undersecretaries Benjamin Reyes and Earl Saavedra, Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Kristian Ablan, and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Directors Emerson Margate and Naravy Duquiatan.