Press Release
November 26, 2010

Sotto wants DARE program in DepEd budget

Senate Majority Leader Vicente C. Sotto III is asking the Department of Education (DepEd) to seriously consider adopting a "drug abuse prevention education program" and appropriate a portion of its proposed P207.3 billion budget next year for this purpose.

In particular, Sotto urged DepEd to include in the regular curriculum of grades 5 and 6 students the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program, possibly beginning in the school year 2011 to further boost the government's campaign against drug addiction among minors.

"I believe that preventive education can be more effective tool rather than keeping them away from drugs, gangs and violence. At the same time it will help promote a drug-free community. As they say, prevention is better than cure," Sotto said. "

The day we stop buying illegal drugs is the day that these drug lords will stop selling. Parang basura lang yan kung walang bibili," Sotto pointed out.

In as much as he would like to see the DARE program carried out on a nationwide overage, Sotto said it can be pilot-tested in three regions - National Capital Region (NCR), Region 7, and 10 - where substance abuse and peddling of illegal drugs are rampant.

The DARE program in the country's educational system which will be a collaborative effort with law enforcement agencies has been in practice in the United States.

It originated as a collaborative effort between the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Los Angeles Police Department in 1983.

The program will provide students a better understanding of the effects of mind-altering drugs while also helps them recognize and resist peer pressure who are experimenting the use of illegal substance, the senator said.

In the Philippines, there had been successful DARE program in General Santos City, La Union through the initiative of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), when Sotto was still its chairman.

Sotto said the DARE program is an inexpensive undertaking in campaigning against drug abuse in the country.

"We have to enhance the DARE program and introduce it to grade 5 and 6 pupils to prepare them and make them aware of the ill effects and consequences of taking illegal drugs.

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