THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chaired by Director General Aaron N. Aquino has been tasked to lead the preventive education program to save the Filipino youth from the evils of drugs.
Dubbed “Sangguniang Kabataan Standard Training in Extensive Anti-Drug Preventive Education -- A Uniform Program for Youth Leaders (SK STEP-UP),” the program was approved on June 27, 2019, under Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Board Regulation No. 5 Series of 2019.
“This paved the way for the guidelines institutionalizing a uniform preventive education program in anti-drug advocacy complementing the demand reduction campaign for the youth leaders in the community,” Aquino said.
The PDEA chief pushed for the creation of a uniform anti-drug advocacy program for the SK movement during a youth forum in Pampanga in August 2018.
According to Aquino, the SK STEP-UP is designed as a supervisory level preventive education training program aimed at empowering the SK and barangay youth leaders to be certified anti-drug advocates harmonizing the government’s strategy to reduce illegal drugs.
The youth leaders, specifically SK chairpersons, its councilors, selected local youth development council members, and other qualified youth leaders who are at least 18 years old, but not more than 24 years of age, shall be responsible in the regular conduct of prevention activities and organizing anti-drug events in their barangays, lead by example, and inspire their age groups to stay away from illegal drugs.
The SK STEP-UP has three phases -- Youth Camp; Trainer’s Training for the Youth Leaders; and Ground Implementation, Monitoring, and Evaluation.
Local government units through their Anti-Drug Abuse Councils are now required to hold twoto three-day youth camp with local SK chairmen, councilors or selected youth leaders as participants. Besides supervising the youth camp, PDEA shall provide the subject matter experts (SMEs), camp program and mechanics. The LGU will be responsible for the logistical requirements for the event.
In the second phase, LGUs and their ADACs will organize three to five days Trainer’s Training of Youth Leaders for those participants who passed the competency requirement of Phase I.
The second phase training modules include the SK STEP-UP Program’s Administration; Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention Education (DAPE); Communication and Life Skills Development; Practical Community Immersion; Basic Research and Development; and Formulation of Action Plans and Implementation.
“Upon successful completion of the trainer’s training program, graduating participants will be conferred the SK STEP-UP Certified Anti-Drug Advocates,” Aquino said.