Starting them young. Watch out for candies mixed with drugs. Authorities are taking a new tack to educate children, as young as 7 years old, on how to avoid getting involved in illegal drugs.
The Philippine National Police in Dumaguete city headed by P/Supt Jonathan Pineda, has started community immersion and information drive targeting the children to instill an aversion of illegal drugs.
The objective is to develop among children the natural distaste in engaging in illegal drugs either as a user and courier or both. Given enough motivation, children can also serve as informants of the police.
Besides, children cannot be arrested or tried in court when they commit crimes due to the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act that focuses on the child’s rehabilitation and re-integration than imprisonment like ordinary criminals.
Attention is called upon the CITY DSWD headed by Carol Ann Alpuerto to assign a social worker at the police station who will accompany minors booked for various offenses and who cannot be detained but admonished and brought back to their parents both in the evening and day time.
P/Supt Pineda reported that no DSWD personnel is doing this very crucial mandate under the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Law. This could make the DSWD officials liable before the Ombudsman for dereliction of duty.
The Sangguniang Kabataan, Local Youth Development Office and the PNP will continue with its information drive in all barangays of the city to cover as many vulnerable children as possible.