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Monday, September 7, 2015

Lamitan youths warned of effects of illegal drugs

By Rene V. Carbayas

ISABELA CITY, Basilan – Some 120 youths of Lamitan City participated in the one-day Values Orientation Workshop on Drug Awareness and Prevention aimed at developing the young minds’ consciousness on the dangers and effects of illegal drugs and substance abuse.

Pelita L. Tacorda, City Social Welfare Officer said the activity was also conducted to encourage, facilitate and create opportunities for self-expression and enhance young peoples’ social awareness towards building a better future for themselves.

In her message, City Mayor Rose Uy-Furigay told participants that drugs and substance abuse are perennial problems of every society that is taking a toll on the youth, the future of every society.

“This seminar organized by the City Social Welfare is our way of showing our concern for the youth. We don’t want to leave you and be caught unaware of the dangers and ill-effects of illegal drugs. I know you are the most vulnerable sector to be drug-user. Drug lords and traffickers are around, patiently waiting for you to become victims of their luring,” the mayor said.

The mayor added that once young people are lured to drugs, the city’s future is already at stake. She expressed her confidence over the capabilities of the local security forces, the military and police to help curb and go after these drug pushers and drug traffickers.

In his keynote message, City Police Chief Gean O. Gallardo recalled the discipline that his parents employed in order for him to learn the challenges in life. He said that he learned the hard way. He asked the participants to value the seminar and to put more interest on the things that is discussed.

“Allow the speakers to pound your minds with knowledge about the ill-effects of illegal drugs and substance abuse, rather than your body be pounded and be damaged by drug abuse,” he said.

Various speakers were invited to speak on topics like R.A.9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 as shared by P/Insp. Eleazar M. Tani, Lamitan Police investigation section chief and Effects of Drug Addiction to Health by Dr. Fetredo B. Guillo.

Highlighting the sessions was the lecture on the effects of drug addiction to individuals and the society with the Philippine Information Agency in Basilan. The video-documentary kicked-off discussions where participants were able to illustrate in caricature how a drug-dependent looks like and identified some effects of drug abuse to society. The PIA stressed that prolonged drug-abuse may result to permanent brain damage.

The discussions were further enhanced with the personal testimony of a former drug-user and now a pastor, Rev Jeffrey Mankin, who told participants on how drug-abuse ruined and almost destroyed his life.

“Never attempt nor try drugs even for curiosity’s sake only, because everything started from there,” Mankin said.

The seminar, held last August 28 at Datu Dizal Cultural Center in Lamitan City, was one of the values orientation seminars in store for the youth of Lamitan to prepare the next generation towards a better Lamitan City.