• Makati seeks more youth in drug-free campaign


    The Makati city government wants more youth engagement in its ongoing campaign against illegal drugs.

    Mayor Abigail Binay urged the youth from the city’s schools and barangay (villages) to get involved in the “Pag-asa sa Makati” campaign, which is aimed at developing active youth advocates who will serve as the city’s partners in the promotion of a drug-free Makati.

    The entire program aims not only to cultivate the skills and talents of the youth, but also to empower them to be great leaders and role models for their peers.

    The campaign, launched in April 2017 through joint efforts of the Makati Peace and Order Council (MPOC) and Makati Anti-Drug Abuse Council (MADAC), now has 6,000 participants mostly students from the city’s public schools.

    “We are glad to note that the Pag-asa sa Makati campaign is fast gaining ground. We encourage more young Makatizens to participate in various training and activities being conducted in our schools and communities,” Binay said in a statement.

    The mayor pointed out that the youth becoming advocates of drug-free communities was a “much better and wiser option” than joining fraternities or gangs.

    She cited the case of the fatal stabbing last February 9 of a Makati high school student, which was linked to rivalry among fraternity groups.

    “I appeal to students and to all our young constituents to avoid any involvement with groups that breed violence, and to instead devote your time and energy to more productive endeavors, such as the Pag-asa sa Makati campaign,” Binay said.

    MADAC has reported the drive has established student campaign groups, developed theater and arts skills among students, equipped the youth with peer education, and activated civic involvement in battling illegal drugs trade and use within barangays.

    Since its launch, the Pag-asa campaign has benefited thousands of public high school students in at least six barangays, including Poblacion and San Isidro in District 1, and Comembo, East Rembo, West Rembo, and Pitogo in District 2.

    The respective Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils of the said barangays collaborated with the MPOC and MADAC to implement programs integrating arts and multimedia tools. These include two major workshops – basic integrated theater workshop and repertory theater guidance – that were launched last year to train teachers and establish core campaign groups of students initially in six target public schools.

    From April to November last year, 96 teachers were also trained along with 507 students from Fort Bonifacio High School, Makati High School, San Isidro High School, Pitogo High School, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino High School, and Tibagan High School, who became members of their own school’s core campaign groups.

    Many of them have expressed delight over the opportunity to take part in such an undertaking, which empowers them to speak out on relevant issues like the drug problem, and to positively influence their peers towards self-improvement, rather than self-destruction.

    MADAC also conducted drug prevention training, seminars, and lectures for private institutions, including Questronix Corp., Pasay Rotary Club Southeast, and Globetek Science Technology.


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