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Province of South Cotabato

PDEA declares 2 South Cotabato towns as drug-free

Koronadal City—Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in SOCSKSARGEN confirmed that two towns in South Cotabato are drug-free, Naravy Duquiatan, PDEA Regional Director, said during a press conference held here as the province opened the week-long Drug Abuse, Prevention, and Control today.

“We have declared the town of Tantangan as drug-free, and in the next few days PDEA and the PNP team will also declare Suralah a drug-free town,” Duquitan said.

The declaration came after the two towns complied with all the requirements set forth by the Dangerous Drugs Board Resolution No.3, series of 2017 which include non-availability of drug supply; absence of drug-dependent, pusher, user, absence of clandestine drug laboratory; active involvement of barangay officials in anti-drug activities; existence of drug awareness, preventive education and information; and existence of voluntary and compulsory drug treatment and rehabilitation processing desk.

Meanwhile, Gov. Jun Tamayo eyes the province-wide drug-free declaration.

“Wala namang deadline, but we are working it out. Nakita naman natin ang naging trabaho ng local PNP in South Cotabato to lessen the illegal drug trade (There is no deadline, but we are working it out. You have witnessed that our local PNP is doing big things to lessen the drug trade),” Tamayo said.

Tamayo pushed that drug test would be a requirement for Kabugwason Paglaum Scholarship Program, a local scholarship program of South Cotabato.

Police Col. George Parcon, Deputy Police Provincial Director for Operations, however, presented that South Cotabato Police conducted 345 operations in the last 10 months.

He said 36 persons were arrested based on the search warrant while 487 persons were arrested during police anti-drug operations.

“We are consistent with our campaign on supply reduction strategies. In fact, we consistently topped the Regional Oversight Committee Inspection on Illegal Drug Campaign,” Parcon said.

Recently, South Cotabato province presented 337 junior and high school students in Tupi who completed the 10-lesson curriculum school-based substance use prevention program Keepin it REAL.

Keepin’ it REAL is a multicultural classroom activity for students 12-14 years old taught by trained classroom teachers in 45-minute sessions over 10 weeks, with booster sessions delivered in the following school year.

Parcon said the curriculum is designed to help students assess the risks associated with substance abuse, enhance decision-making and resistance strategies, improve antidrug normative beliefs and attitudes, and reduce substance use.

The curriculum places special emphasis on resistance strategies represented in
the acronym REAL: Refuse offers to use substances, Explain why you do not want to use substances,
Avoid situations in which substances are used, and Leave situations in which substances are used.

“Arrest of minors involving on anti-drug has declined this year,” Parcon stressed out.

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