The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency on Tuesday vowed to go after street children involved in drug use.
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino led the launch of “Project: Sagip Batang Solvent” designed to rescue street children from the drug trade and drug abuse with sniffers of solvent as primary targets.
He called on big corporations and business owners to include the project as part of their corporate social responsibility, cooperation and support to the government’s drug demand reduction efforts by lending financial assistance.
“The sight of children sniffing solvent on our streets and their involvement in illegal drug activities have long been regarded as a perennial problem along busy streets and urban areas,” he said.
“What these children need is a sense of belonging. They belong to their homes under their parents’ care, and in schools where they are supposed to learn and grow, not in the streets where they are left to fend for themselves.
“PDEA emphasizes the important role of parents in keeping these kids off the streets. The parents, as head of the basic unit of society, must be responsible for starting anti-drug awareness and prevention in the family,” he added.
Under ‘‘Project: Sagip Batang Solvent,” homey facilities will be established to rehabilitate and reform rescued street children in the communities.
“Poor families and their children are easily lured into illegal drug activities for lack of any decent means of livelihood. This mirrors the prevailing sociological aspect of the drug problem. Poverty alleviation is a necessary component for success in the national anti-drug campaign, and this is one area where big corporations as benefactors can help the government,” Aquino said.
He said education and skills training are permanent solutions to the drug problem.
“It is about time we have a rescue program solely designed for children to keep them off the streets for good,” he added.