By: Rey Antibo
Compostela Valley Province—The provincial government of Compostela Valley in partnership with the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) hosted this year’s celebration of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (IDADAIT) 2018 at the Capitol Ground, Cabidianan, Nabunturan, Compostela Valley Province on June 26, 2018.
This year’s theme is “LISTEN FIRST”- Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe.” The theme was selected by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to raise awareness about the global drug problem.
Gracing the occasion were Hon. Michael S. Klecheski, Deputy Chief of Mission of US Embassy, Secretary Catalino S. Cuy, Chairman DDB, Undersecretary Benjamin P. Reyes, Permanent Member of DDB, Assistant Secretary Walter P. Besas, Officer in Charge of the Office of the Executive Director of DDB, Hon. Jayvee Tyron L. Uy, Governor of Compostela Valley Province, provincial and national officials.
Prior to the program, the province spearheaded the Fun Run activity as early as 4 o’clock in the morning with more than five thousand runners coming from Davao region. Comval, alone, is represented by the Barangay Captains, Barangay Kagawad on Committee on Peace and Order, Barangay Tanod Chairman, Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Chairpersons, high school and college students of the eleven municipalities, employees of the provincial capitol, the reformed voluntary surrenderers (RVS) of the Oplan Liwanag program, and other different individuals.
During the program, DDB Sec. Cuy expressed his gratitude to the local government of Comval for hosting the international event. He also commended the province for the continuous support in the government’s fight against illegal drugs as well as the creation of the program “Oplan Liwanag,” a community based rehabilitation program for the drug surrenderees.
Sec. Cuy pointed out the role of every Filipino in the campaign against drugs and urged everyone to help the government in this battle saying “every Filipino must understand that defeating drug dependency would mean enabling others to avoid the use of drugs and empowering many to shun the temptation of pushing drugs in exchange for money.”
“We can all be victims of drugs. So we need to stand up and fight. Not only our lives are in danger, but also the lives of the future generation. We can do a lot in shaping this society and turning it into a world free from drugs,” said Sec. Cuy.
Meanwhile, Governor Uy in his welcome message, expressed his gratitude to the presence of every Comvalenyos and the neighboring provinces for joining the IDADAIT celebration as the province was chosen as the host.
Gov. Uy thanked the DDB in particular for entrusting the responsibility. “The selection of our province to host this grand event is indeed very telling. It signifies the importance of the role that the local governments play in our pursuit to end the drug problem in this country”.
“I hope that this year’s celebration will not be the end of our strengthened efforts against the drug problem. Instead, it should further our resolve to put an end to this problem once and for all,” Gov. Uy said.
Also gracing the event were the municipal mayors headed by the League of the Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) president Pantukan Mayor Roberto M. Yugo, and municipal officials, Provincial and Regional Directors, head of the national agencies, Provincial Government Heads of Comval, and the representatives of the provinces of the Davao Region.
The celebration of IDADAIT is pursuant to the United Nation (UN) declaration dated December 7, 1987 and Presidential Proclamation No. 264. The event is being observed simultaneously by all U.N. member countries. (Rey M. Antibo, PGO-ID Comval)