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Makati City engages youth participation in citywide drive for drug-free communities

Makati Mayor Abby Binay yesterday urged the youth from the city’s schools and barangays to get involved in the ongoing “Pag-asa sa Makati” campaign against the drug menace, noting that it has reached close to 6,000 participants, mostly students from the city’s public schools.
The campaign, launched in April last year through the joint efforts of the Makati Peace and Order Council (MPOC) and Makati Anti-Drug Abuse Council (MADAC), is aimed to develop active youth advocates who will serve as the city’s partners in the promotion of a “drug-free Makati.”
“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,” Mayor Abby said.
“The entire program is aimed 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,” she emphasized.
The mayor pointed out that participating in the campaign as youth advocates of drug-free communities was a “much better and wiser option” than joining fraternities or gangs. She said she hoped young Makatizens would be discouraged to do the latter after 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,” Mayor Abby said.
MADAC has reported that to date, 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 in April 2017, 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 or BADAC 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 or BITAW and Repertory Theater Guidance or RTG, which 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 had been 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 toward self-improvement, rather than self-destruction.
Also launched under the campaign were the Inter-School Song Making Contest, Festival of Plays, a series of school play performances, barangay outreach performances, and poster making challenge events. A total of 434 students from the six public schools and from private junior high schools participated in the said activities, which gained a combined audience of 4,430 consisting mostly of public and private school students, and also parents and other young residents.
Meanwhile, from July to December 2017, MADAC hosted 31 Drug Abuse Prevention and Control lectures among 21 elementary schools and eight high schools in the city.
MADAC also held an event called Film Showing Kotra Droga which ran from November 27 to December 28, 2017, covering 29 barangays and villages in the city and catering to a total of 1,619 residents including children, youth, and parents.
MADAC had also conducted drug prevention training, seminars, and

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