SOUTH COTABATO, April 28, 2023 – The Department of Education (DepEd), in cooperation with the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), highlighted the importance of preventive education in curbing drug-related concerns and how to strengthen programs and interventions against substance abuse in schools and the community during the 3rd National Barkada Kontra Droga Convention (NBKDC).
“We must confront [drug addiction] problem with empathy, compassion, and understanding while arming ourselves with determination and bravery to pull our barkada away from the trap of drug addiction,” Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Z. Duterte said.
DepEd Assistant Secretary for Operations Dr. Dexter Galban likewise urged learners to continue advocating and participating in drug abuse prevention activities.
“All of you here today, coming from different regions of the country, are given the opportunity and even the challenge to become champions. You’re here today for a reason. You’re here today to serve as beacons of hope for those having difficulty saying no to illegal drugs, saying no to substance abuse,” Asec. Galban said.
During the three-day event hosted by DepEd SOCCSKSARGEN, attendees listened to discussions on the salient features of the DepEd policy on the BKD Plus Program; the policies, updates, and intervention for the Department’s No Smoking Campaign; and how to develop information education communication materials, among others.
Meanwhile, Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Undersecretary Earl Saavedra put emphasis on curbing the vulnerabilities of the youth by not allowing them to become the victims of substance abuse.
“BKD is not only a flagship program that starts and ends with interagency commitment. We were able to walk the talk pagdating sa BKD by tapping partners and stakeholders who are our important allies pagdating sa pagsugpo ng drug addiction in our communities,” DDB Usec. Saavedra said.
The event likewise aimed to strengthen camaraderie, collaboration, cooperation, and solidarity in BKD implementers’ commitment to attain a drug-free lifestyle through sharing leadership stories and best practices, and formulation of action plans to prevent drug abuse in schools and the community.
“I firmly believe that you are the ones that can help lead us to a better future. As I’ve always said, the youth are done waiting for the world to change. The world is now waiting for the youth to change it,” Asec. Galban said.