The Davao del Norte Police Provincial Office (DNPPO) intensifies its visibility at the community levels, not only to check crime, but to closely monitor instances of children getting involved in illegal drug use and trade.
As guest of the Philippine Information Agency XI’s One Davao Presser, DNPPO chief of information, PMaj Anjanette Tirador, said DNPPO’s Child and Women Protection Desk (WCPD), together with the Family Juvenile Gender and Development (FJGAD) Section, conducts house visitation of families whose children were found involved in illegal drug activity.
They are also working closely with the barangay officials in monitoring so these children would be prevented from going back to illegal drug trade.
Tirador explained that children involved in illegal drugs but were found to “have acted without discernment” were brought back to their families and were no longer referred to the rehabiltation center. However, they are placed under close monitoring by barangay officials especially in the Barangay Committee against Illegal Drugs.
“We are working closely para sa monitoring nga dili na mabalik ang maong bata sa kalihukan sa (illegal) droga (… so these children won’t again be involved in illegal drug activity),” she said.
Tirador explained this measure of protecting community children from getting entangled with illegal drugs activity while revealing that “more or less 20% of the 541 filed illegal drug cases” involved minors with ages ranging from 12 years of age to 17 years of age.
If the social worker attending the case involving a minor would certify that the child “acted without discernment,” no court proceedings will take place and the child will just be returned to his community especially if the child is below 15 years of age.
If certified to have acted with discernment, the court has to come up with resolution that the child has to be referred to the Regional Rehabilitation for Youth (RRCY) run by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Tirador made the explanation basing on the Republic Act 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act (JJWA).
“With RA 9344, we still believe that we can still save the children,” she said.
Meanwhile, Tirador revealed that children involved in illegal drug trade usually served as the drug courier, and most of them had claimed economic difficulty and dysfunctional state of their families as the primary reasons of getting into illegal drug trade.
Basing on case handling, they were known to had been into rugby sniffing before they were tapped into illegal drug trade, and then accelerated into shabu use.
“Makawala daw ug gutom kung mag-inhale ug rugby,” Tirador said.
Meanwhile, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Davao del Norte Provincial Officer Julius Magdadaro agreed with the data of DNPPO on drug enforcement accomplishment, saying that the operation of PDEA was well coordinated with the police.
During the same episode of the One Davao Presser, he said that PDEA Davao del Norte seized 691 grams of shabu from January to October 2023 with an estimated value amounting to P4,698,000.
Although of lesser value only at P2,226, the seized Marijuana weighed at 55.6737 grams.
In cooperation with the PNP police stations, PDEA Davao del Norte conducted 398 illegal drug operations, arresting 396 individuals with 40 high value targets. (JMDA/PIA Davao del Norte)