Pinoy anti-narcotics agents to be trained vs drug use in schools

A 10-day training series for anti-narcotics authorities will be launched by the Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) of the United States Embassy in the Philippines in cooperation with the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and the Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Program in a bid to reduce the “likelihood of initiation of substance use in schools.’’

In a statement on Monday, May 10, PDEA said that the series of 10-day sessions will train additional law enforcement entities over the course of two years.

"This training program is an off-shoot to the first training program from April 28 to May 7 where 30 officers “with drug prevention education responsibilities from the Philippine National Police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) participated," the statement read.

PDEA Deputy Director-General Randy Pedroso said the initial training was “very relevant” and reflects “collaboration and teamwork in the fight against drugs.”

DDB Undersecretary Benjamin Reyes also cited the INL for its strong support for the drug demand reduction programs in the Philippines.

“Through INL funding, the Colombo Plan worked with Philippine drug demand reduction experts, a technical expert advisory working group on prevention science and master trainers, to tailor the universally-recognized curriculum on prevention, known as the Universal Prevention Curriculum, for Philippine professionals,’’ PDEA said.

The Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Program is a regional intergovernmental program building capacity for drug demand reduction efforts in the Asia-Pacific Region while the Universal Prevention Curriculum includes a series designed to help ensure that nationally- and regionally-based prevention workers obtain consistent, accurate and up-to-date science-based information and skills training.

Specifically, the school-based prevention intervention module provides participants with an overview of the “science behind school-based prevention interventions, and the application of such evidence-based approaches in school settings.’’

The project is a component of the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines’ comprehensive program on drug demand reduction covering prevention, treatment, recovery, and policy development. (Chito A. Chavez)