The Talomo Police Station Community Affairs and the Women and Children’s Protection Desk launched a new program to protect children from illegal drugs.
The program, called Project READY or Resistance Education Against Drugs for the Youth, was piloted in Ciriaco Elementary School, Shrine Hills Matina around 9:30 a.m. on Friday.
Headed by its station commander, Lt. Col. Ronald L. Lao, the project will educate grade school pupils on the ill-effects of illegal drugs, and helping them understand that at their age, they already have a social responsibility to help address the global problem.
The Project READY was based on the PNP Command Memorandum Circular No. 41-2016, signed and approved by former PNP chief, now Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa, which was supported by his successors, former PNP chief Oscar Albayalde, and current PNP Director General Archie Francisco Gamboa.
Project READY replaced the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), which was a US-patented program.
Lao said, “We will be deploying to schools the READY police officer. This personnel underwent a series of trainings and approach and facilitation skills who will serve as lecturers of the evil-effects of drugs to schools.” he said.
The project officers are tasked to cascade their different modules to grade 1 to grade 12 students in their areas of jurisdiction. One module will be taught once a week in every classroom for four weeks until the four modules are finished.
At the end of the READY curriculum, the students are expected to learn and develop the following life skills: obedience to the law and considering consequences; combating pressure to use drugs by saying no; learning moral values and building self-esteem; and making a decision during a risky situation.
Meanwhile, the launch was backed by the group of aspirants of the Fraternal Order of Eagles headed by its club president, Lamberto Cagatin (Davao Prime Eagles Club), which sponsored the school supplies distributed to the 200 children. A feeding activity was also conducted, with the help of the City Mayor’s Office.
“This is one of the drug-reduction strategies of the PNP,” Lao said. “We want to remove the negative stigma attached to police.”
“We want the children to feel comfortable around us. We want them to know that they can talk to us in time of need. Having a positive interaction with a police officer in the classroom may persuade that child, or teen, to seek assistance from the police in the future,” the station commander added.