The Senate Committee on Youth chaired by Senator Joel Villanueva discussed on Wednesday a proposed measure providing the youth with appropriate skills to avoid drug abuse and live productive drug-free lives.
Senate Bill No. 1149 or the Youth Drug Abuse Resistance Education and Prevention Program (Y-DARE) Act filed by Villanueva targets to educate the youth on the personal and social consequences of substance abuse and drug dependency.
Under the bill, the Department of Health (DOH) will serve as the lead agency that will implement the said program.
The proposed Y-Dare Act also includes livelihood and skills training programs for the youth. The said programs will be facilitated by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd) and other concerned agencies.
“Daily, we hear news of young people falling to their death because they succumb into bad habits like drugs. Sadly, drugs and substance abuse have contributed to the destruction of the lives of the youth," Villanueva said.
"With the main thrust of the present administration to eradicate drug dependency and substance abuse, we deem it necessary to enact a law that will not only educate the youth on the consequences of substance abuse, but will also provide them livelihood and skills training to keep them away from the adverse effects of drugs,” the senator added.
Aside from the said proposal, the Youth Committee also discussed two more bills seeking to establish a program on human trafficking prevention for the youth (SBN 992) filed by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian; and an initiative that will include the participation of the youth in the disaster risk reduction and management council in all levels (SBN 686) filed by Senator Bam Aquino.
“Our young population has significant potential to contribute to our development. Unfortunately, because of binding constraints, we are unable to tap this potential resource. Through the measures that we filed and discussed, it is our hope that we would soon be able to produce a young generation that is composed of drug-free, secure, and productive members of the society,” Villanueva said.