Children used in illegal drugs trade

·2 min read

THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA 7) has monitored three barangays in Cebu City where children are being used by drug dealers to sell illegal drugs.

The PDEA 7 is working closely with the PNP and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7 to address the problem, said Leia Alcantara, PDEA 7 information officer.

The barangays were identified as Mambaling (especially Sitio Alaska), Ermita and Duljo-Fatima. The three villages are also considered to be the most drug affected barangays in Cebu City.

Alcantara said they were able to rescue children during their anti-illegal drug operation. The minors were immediately turned over to the DSWD 7.

“When we say that minors are involved, we really consider them as a serious problem,” said Alcantara.

‘Erpat’

The DSWD has a program called empowerment and reaffirmation of paternal abilities or ‘Erpat’ that educates parents on the importance of the parents’ role in raising children properly so that they will not be led to illegal drugs.

The study showed that children who were abandoned by their fathers and also neglected by their mothers were likely to be involved in illegal drugs and become problems to society.

“Fathers are supposed to be the guides of their families, but the DSWD has already observed that our fathers are lagging behind. There are fathers who have lost the right path, in fact they themselves have become victims of illegal drugs,” Alcantara said in Cebuano.

Seminars for parents will be held at the barangay level to help prevent children from roaming the streets and living a life of crime.

Marijuana

Meanwhile, a 2022 survey conducted by the Dangerous Drugs Board showed that marijuana was the first drug of choice used by drug addicts all over the Philippines.

The survey also showed that in each family, one member used marijuana but had not returned to using it for a long time.

In Central Visayas, drug users still prefer shabu because supply is easier to buy compared to marijuana that is only grown in small parts of the region.

“Shabu is still number one (in the region) among the dangerous drugs that are abused. In our national data, there are a lot of marijuana users because our seizures are really big in the NCR, especially in the Cordillera region. Their plantations are very big there,” Alacantara said.

Alcantara said the PDEA 7 seized 36,111.12 grams of shabu and 10,000 marijuana trees this year with a total value of P254.6 million compared to 28,356.46 grams of shabu and 43,100 marijuana trees seized in 2021 that had a total value of more than P213.035 million.

The number does not include the millions of pesos worth of illegal drugs seized by the PNP in Central Visayas that are also part of the campaign.