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DDB, VMO intensify drug abuse prevention 

MORE THAN 50 youth leaders from schools, universities, and churches from the city undergo training on life skills enhancement to intensify drug abuse prevention education.

The training aims to equip youth leaders with the necessary life skills to influence the youth in their communities to resist drug use.

Vice Mayor J. Melchor Quitain Jr. said the end goal of drug abuse prevention skills training is to promote a 100% drug-free community in which the involvement of the youth is deemed necessary.

The collaboration of VMO with DDB aligns with the office’s advocacy on youth empowerment and public awareness and the Dabawenyo Dciplinado campaign.

Dabawenyo DCiplinado is a campaign that recognizes the discipline of Davaoeños as a contributor to the city’s success, which was highlighted during the Araw ng Dabaw opening on March 1. 

“Hopefully whatever they learned here in the training, they will spearhead and replicate the same in their schools, churches, and in their barangay,” Quitain said in his opening message.

The vice mayor said this initiative of the VMO is a show of support for the current administration’s declaration of war on drugs. 

“We will show to these drug pushers if they think the youth is the most vulnerable, we will prove them wrong that here in Davao City, you cannot influence the youth,” he said.

Undersecretary Earl P. Saavedra, Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) executive director, said in his message the training will produce a pool of role models for the youth who can confidently say “no” to drugs and promote healthy lifestyles. 

“The whole of the nation approach with collaborations among national agencies, organizations, and international partners will only be fulfilled if the allies and partners will come from the youth sector. This is not about you without you,” Saavedra said in the video message.

This is the third time VMO has collaborated with DDB, with the first partnership conducted in November 2016 involving the barangay council from the city. The second seminar involved Sanguniang Kabataan chairpersons and was conducted in December 2022.

Edna Villavicencio, DDB Training Specialist III told reporters the training is evidence-based and the participants will undergo various activities through a set of modules.

The modules to be distributed include building self-esteem, communication skills, decision-making, and personal skills. 

“The goal is to enhance their personal and interpersonal skills to ensure they effectively resist drug influence,” she said.

She shared that the development of personal and interpersonal skills was found to be an effective program for drug abuse prevention, citing the United Nations on Drug and Crime study.

Around 6000 nationwide have been trained for life skills enhancement from 2002 until February 2024, since the country underwent training by Colombo Plan in 2002.

Viillavicencio urged the Vice Mayor’s Office to conduct a baseline study to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the training for the youth.

Chester Oporto, a graduating Grade 12 student from Bernardo Carpio National High School, and participant said the training will help augment his skills, especially in drug prevention, being a youth leader in Buhangin.

“It is important to augment my skills and knowledge, especially my communication skills and self-esteem, because if we have the confidence we can unleash the best in us and serve the youth as well as the community,” Oporto said. 

The 2-day training runs from June 5-6 at the Ritz Hotel at Garden Oases, Davao City. 





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