The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is set to launch a project aimed at saving street children from solvent sniffing.
In a statement Friday, PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino said the project, dubbed “Sagip Batang Solvent”, aims to save children involved in illegal drug activities (CIIDs); provide shelter facilities for them; implement reformative and reintegrated interventions; develop resistance to drug use among them; and transform them to productive citizens.
“Just go around the thoroughfares of metropolis and you see children sniffing inhalants like a normal display of feat. These would-be drug dependent young adults and citizens — aren’t we afraid of waking up one day in a country already gobbled up by illegal drug activities?” Aquino said.
According to him, the PDEA will establish a model reformation center for rescued “batang solvent” to be completed next month.
He said the pilot reformation center will be in a rented facility in Quezon City which will have bedrooms, mess hall, kitchen, comfort rooms, receiving and entertainment room, study room, library, multipurpose hall, music room, garden, playground, security, and staff to manage the facility.
“This will be supported by PDEA for a year, whose priority targets are male and female children aged 10 years old and below,” Aquino pointed out, adding that PDEA aims to establish a “batang solvent” reformation center in each of the regional offices nationwide.
PDEA will also tap other government agencies, local government units, non-government organizations, the private sector, and other stakeholders as partners in this initiative.
Aquino said these children will be provided with reformative and reintegrated interventions, such as education, counseling, and values formation, skills development, livelihood and entrepreneurship training.
Besides rescuing solvent-inhaling street children, Aquino sees the project as one of the measures to prevent juvenile delinquency. (PNA)