NELLIE LACSON MERCADO
Former President, IFNGO
Permanent Adviser, PHILCADSA
Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat, good morning to all of you.
Mayor Alfredo Lim
Sec. Antonio Villar
Gen. Dionisio Santiago
Datin Hajah Masni binti Hadji Mohd Ali
Mr. Nguyen Cuu Duc
Dato Hadji Mustapha Ma
Mrs. Nellie Lacson Mercado
Dr. Rosalina Macalino
Dr. Cindy Dollente Ang
Delegates and guests to the 19th IFNGO ASEAN NGOs WORKSHOP,
Colleagues, friends, ladies and gentlemen.
I stand before you this morning in behalf of Mrs. Nellie Lacson Mercado,
the grand name of Philcadsa, its founder and Philcadsa’s first President who
continue to be Philcadsa’s inspiration and major supporter. Mrs. Mercado,
would be addressing you now but unfortunately is not 100% physically fit today
but in spite of that, she came to be with us this morning to show us that she is
one with all of us in our common mission to make our world, a better world
devoid of debilitating dangerous drugs.
Let us give Mrs. Mercado a round of applause.
Another outstanding personality with us in this very tedious work of getting
rid of dangerous drugs in our world, the dynamo of IFNGO, it’s Honorary
Secretary, who would not leave anything undone to attain IFNGO’s Mission-
Dato Hadji Mustapha Na.
Let us give Dato Hadji Mustapha Na a big hand.
We have three days ahead of us to review, to share what our national
organizations has done towards the implementation of the resolution passed in
18th IFNGO ASEAN NGO’s WORKSHOP held in SARAWAK MALAYSIA in December
We will also recount and share what breakthroughs we have succeed in
doing towards better service delivery which may be adopted by our sister
organizations. Maybe even some difficulties encountered by some of us could
find answers from others who succeeded in overcoming such difficulties.
Sometimes, it is discouraging that our best efforts does not bring about
dramatic results but we must always be thankful for little successes. When we
have helped rehabilitate a drug addict or an alcoholic and help save that one
person from a life of uselessness and hopelessness, a menace to society to
become a person with hope a bright future, a productive and a contributing
member of society – we have indeed done a lot for that one person, his/her
family, community and even the world.
In one of the parables in the bible, it tells us of a shepherd leaving his 99
sheep to search for one missing sheep. The story continues to tell us of the
happiness, the elation of that shepherd when he finds his missing sheep. That
shows to us the importance of one life.
When Kapatiran Kaunlaran Foundation Inc., a member organization of
Philcadsa succeeds in the transformation of a problem prone drug addict, and
help that individual become a productive, contributing member society, there is
much celebration and rejoicing. One life has been saved! I know this happiness
is experienced by all of us when we succeed in saving even just one life.
And you multiply that happening in all organizations that make up the
national organizations, of each member country and all the national
organizations of the different countries that make up the IFNGO – we all can
justly claim a great success.
So with satisfaction in our hearts for the things we have done and do our
continued willingness to do even more, we start work today – and after 3 days,
let us all say to each other thank you for the work you do to make our world a
better, safer place to live in. Some of the delegates to this conference are old
hands in this work and we can learn from them. Thankfully we have also some
new persons who has joined us who brought with them their talents, wisdom and
skills, new perspectives in service delivery.
May I emphasize, that everybody counts – the more persons to carry the
load, the task become lighter. In unity, there is strength.
And now ladies and gentlemen, in behalf of the Philippine Council of
NGO’s against Drug and Substance Abuse may I warmly welcome all of you,
delegates and guests to the 19th IFNGO ASEAN NGO’s Workshop to the ―Pearl of
the Orient Seas‖ the Republic of the Philippines, and to the ―Queen City of Asia‖,
the beautiful city of Manila.
Thank you very much. Maraming salamat po at Mabuhay.
DATIN HAJAH MASNI BINTI HAJI MOHD ALI
President of IFNGO 2009-2011
Concurrently President of BASMIDA Brunei Darussalam
At the Official Opening Ceremony of the
19th IFNGO ASEAN NGOs WORKSHOP
26th October 2010, Manila, Philippines
Your Excellency Alfredo Lim, Mayor of Manila, keynote speaker, Dr. Cindy
Ang, 1st President and Executive Director of PHILCADSA, Ms. Nellie Mercado,
Adviser of PHILCADSA, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar,
Thailand plus NGOs from Macau, Australia, Mauritius, Sweden and from
Colombo Plan Secretariat Drug Advisory Programme and GO Agency
Dangerous Drugs Board, Excellencies, Distinguished guests, Delegates, Ladies
and Gentlemen Salam and Greetings to all participants of this 19 th IFNGO
ASEAN NGOs Workshop.
At the outset I convey on behalf of IFNGO appreciations and
congratulations to PHILCADSA for all the hardwork and efforts in the preparation
and organization of this workshop.
BASMIDA was privileged to host the 23rd IFNGO World Conference in
Brunei last year and the 17th IFNGO ASEAN NGOs Workshop in 2007 and I take
this opportunity to thank all the participants in that Conference and Workshop
for all their support.
BASMIDA believes that prevention plays a bigger and significant role in
today’s community if we are to effectively combat drug and substance abuse.
Comprehensive approaches ranging from education to correct information and
its dissemination, alternative healthy life-styles in the arts, sports and recreation
and the inculcation of spiritual values are used to discourage the youth and
people from drug abuse. Giving youth opportunities will equip them with the
necessary incentives to be responsible stakeholders in a bright future will sheer
them from illegal drug abuse.
Showing respect for the laws be religious, spiritual, natural, community,
family bu being a role model is an example in praiseworthy values. We also give
them guidance so that they will have the knowledge and strength when
confronted by life challenges. As Muslims, we pray and seek guidance and
protection in our doa (supplications) for one’s children that they msy br sble to
cope with these changing times with full confidence.
We should not forget to impart spiritual, universal and good values and to
enhancing life-skills to our youth and others at risk as these are primary
prevention tools. These values and skills will help them to stand firm and make
the right choice so that they will not succumb or fall pre prey to the lure of illegal
narcotics and psychoactive substances.
Over the years, BASMIDA has remained relevant in the community and
country moving with the times and has been working on this noble cause
supported by various Government agencies and thus be able to move ahead in
synergy. It is indeed one of the BASMIDA’s strategies to mobilize the community
and the corporate sector to work alongside and build a strong partnership in
I congratulate PHILCADSA for choosing for this 19th IFNGO ASEAN NGOs
Workshop the Theme ―Youth and Family, Together Against Drugs‖ especially
focusing on children.
At the 2nd World Forum Against Drugs organized by the World Federation
Against Drugs, in Stockholm, Sweden in May this year, of the points discussed at
great length was the right of children to be protected from narcotic drugs and
psychotropic substances as provided under Article 19 of the UN Convention on
the Rights of Children, to which most countries have ratified as state parties.
Protecting children from illicit use, production and trafficking of drugs is
not an option for state parties. It is a legal obligation. Hence, any harm
reduction policy will not be able to protect the interest of children. Protection of
children should always be the highest priority and starting point when discussing
any drug policy . Its perspective must be child-centered as opposed to adult-
centered or user-centered. State parties must create an enabling environment
for protecting children from illicitly using drugs. For this to happen the most
conducive policy goal is to ensure a drug free society.
The Workshop Theme is also most appropriate as this year’s theme for
World Drug Day on 26 June, marking the International Day Against Drugs and
Illicit Trafficking. It places emphasis on raising awareness that illicit drug use
presents to society particularly to young people and families.
In Brunei, we always remind parents of their responsibility towards their
children in creating a harmonious family and home and the inculcation of good
moral, spiritual and ethical values and responsibility. Home is the first anti-drug
battle ground for children. Love will bind the relationship between parents and
children. One way of assisting the children is to give them a positive goal in life,
which will spur their ambitions for success. Those who have such goal in life will
not risk abusing illegal drugs.
Family institution has an important role in fighting drugs and protecting
every family member from becoming victims of drugs by taking positive early
I conclude by wishing everyone a successful and productive 19th IFNGO
ASEAN NGOs Workshop. Thank you.
19th IFNGO-ASEANS NGOs Workshop
Diamond Hotel Manila, Philippines
27 – 29 October 2010
Mr. Nguyen Cuu Duc,
Director of the Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Programme
MAGANDANG UMAGA PO,
HONORABLE ALFREDO S. LIM, MAYOR, CITY OF MANILA
MS. NELLIE LACSON MERCADO
REPRESENTATIVE FROM DANGEROUS DRUGS BOARD, AND PHILIPPINE
DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY
DATIN HAJAH MASNI BINTI HAJI MOHD ALI, PRESIDENT, IFNGO,
DR. CINDY ANG, VICE PRESIDENT AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF
MS. NELLIE LACSON MERCADO, YOUNGER PRESIDENT IFNGO, PERMANENT
DISTINGUISHED GUESTS AND DELEGATES,
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
IT IS GREAT PLEASURE FOR ME TO BE HERE WITH YOU TODAY AT THE OPENING
CEREMONY OF THE 19TH IFNGO-ASEAN NGOS WORKSHOP. I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE
THIS OPPORTUNITY TO CONGRATULATE PHILCADSA FOR TAKING UP THIS BOLD
STEP IN ORGANIZING THIS IMPORTANT EVENT IN MANILA, LIKEWISE, MY WARM
WELCOME GOES TO ALL PARTICIPANTS AND RESOURCE PERSONS OF THE
THE COLOMBO PLAN AS A FOUNDER OF IFNGO, IS PLEASE TO ASSOCIATE WITH
PHILCADSA IN ORGANIZING THE 19TH IFNGO-ASEAN NGOS WORKSHOP IN
MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES, FROM 27-29 OCTOBER 2010.
I AM HAPPY TO NOTE THAT THE THEME ―YOUTH AND FAMILY: TOGETHER AGAINST
DRUGS‖ IS MOST RELEVANT SINCE THEY MUST BE CLOSELY WORKING TOGETHER
TO MAKE THE COMMUNITY DRUG-FREE.
TODAY, THE YOUNG POPULATION IS INCREASINGLY MORE INDEPENDENT FROM
THEIR FAMILY. THE DOWN SIDE TO THIS IS THAT THEY MIGHT BE INFLUENTIAL BY THEIR
OWN PEERS AND GET EXPOSED TO THE WORLD OF DRUGS. SINCE THE ASIA-
PACIFIC REGION HAS A HIGH PERCENTAGE OF YOUNG POPULATION, DRUG
ADDICTION NOT ONLY DESTROYS THE FUTURE OF THE YOUNG BUT ALSO THE
POTENTIAL OF GROWTH OF THE COUNTRIES. THE PROBLEM OF DRUG ADDICTION
IS VERY SERIOUS SINCE SOME OF THE ASIAN COUNTRIES REMAIN THE LARGEST
SUPPLIERS AND CONSUMERS OF ILLICIT OPIUM PRODUCTS. NEARLY 250 MILLION
PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD ARE USING ILLICIT DRUGS SUCH AS COCAINE,
CANNABIS, HALLUCINOGENS, OPIATES AND SEDATIVE HYPNOTICS.
THE COLOMBO PLAN, AS A REGIONAL INTER-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION
HAS BEEN CONTRIBUTING TO THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT OF ITS
DEVELOPING MEMBER COUNTRIES IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION FOR 59 YEARS,
THROUGH THE DEVELOPMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES AND CAPACITY BUILDING.
THE COLOMBO PLAN DRUG ADVISORY PROGRAMME WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1973
AS THE FIRST REGIONAL PROGRAMME TO ADDRESS THE DRUG ABUSE PROBLEM IN
THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION, AND IT CONTINUES TO PROVIDE CAPACITY-BUILDING
IN VARIOUS AREAS OF DRUG DEMAND REDUCTION TO ITS MEMBER COUNTRIES,
INCLUDING SPECIAL YOUTH PROGRAMMES SUCH AS EFFECTIVE MOBILIZING
YOUTH THROUGH YOUTH-TO-YOUTH DRUG PREVENTION ACTIVITIES, 7 ASIAN AND
IN-COUNTRY YOUTH CONGRESSES AND INTEGRATING PREVENTIVE DRUG
EDUCATION IN SCHOOL CURRICULUM.
IT IS ONLY THROUGH THE DYNAMIC PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE YOUTH AND THEIR
FAMILY THAT ―DRUG-FREE COMMUNITIES‖ CAN BE ARCHIEVED.
I BELIEVE THAT WITH THE EXCELLENT ARRANGEMENT OF PHILCADSA AND ACTIVE
PARTICIPATION OF PARTICIPANTS, THE WORKSHOP WILL BE SUCCESSFUL,
CONTRIBUTE TO THE DRUG DEMAND REDUCTION WORK IN THE REGION. LASTLY I
WISH ALL THE PARTICIPANTS A FRUITFUL AND ENRICHING STAY IN MANILA AND
HOPE YOU WILL BRING BACK HOME THE BEST PRACTICES, KNOWLEDGE AND
STRATEGIES ON DRUG PREVENTION TO BUILD UP A DRUG FREE SOCIETY.
THANK YOU. SALAMAT PO.
SECRETARY ANTONIO A. VILLAR
DANGEROUS DRUGS BOARD
19TH International Federation of Non-Government Organizations- ASEAN NGOs
25-27 October 2010
TO ALL OUR GUESTS, MABUHAY AND WELCOME TO THE PHILIPPINES!
THE THREAT OF DRUG DEPENDENCY IS SHARED BY ALL OF THE WORLD’S NATIONS.
NOT ONE SOCIETY IS SPARED FROM THIS CONCERN. OUR YOUTH REMAIN THE
TARGETS OF DRUG PERPETRATORS AND OUR COMMUNITIES’ FOUNDATION, THE
FAMILY, ARE ALSO UNDER ATTACK. THE GRIM PICTURE THAT DATA AND STATISTICS
PAINT, HOWEVER, MUST NOT DISCOURAGE US. INSTEAD, IT MUST MOTIVATE US TO
DO MUCH THAT WE CAN IN THIS ADVOCACY.
AT THE HEART OF OUR CAMPAIGN IS OUR WISH TO SAVE EACH OF OUR
COUNTRY’S FUTURE. THIS IS ENOUGH INSPIRATION FOR US TO CARRY-ON WITH
OUR TASKS. WE CANNOT DENY THE WEIGHT OF OUR RESPONSIBILITIES TO PROTECT
OUR OWN HOMES AND YOUTH FROM ILLICIT DRUGS. HENCE, SYMPOSIA SUCH AS
THESE, ALLOW US TO ENJOIN OUR FELLOW ANTI-DRUG WARRIORS. AND TODAY,
AS WE ALL START THIS EVENT, WE KNOW THAT WE ARE MOVING TOWARDS A
CAUSE THAT IS NOT ONLY RELEVANT BUT ALSO LIFE-SAVING.
THIS YEAR’S WORKSHOP THEME, ―YOUTH AND FAMILY TOGETHER AGAINST
DRUGS‖ IS VERY APPROPRIATE AND TIMELY. IT DESCRIBES THE VERY ESSENCE OF
ALL OUR DRUG DEMAND REDUCTION EFFORTS BECAUSE PREVENTION BEGINS AT
HOME. AS WE ENSURE THAT PARENTS REMAIN TO BE FRIENDS WITH THEIR
CHILDREN, AND CHILDREN OPT TO BE OPEN TO THEIR PARENTS, WE WILL BE
ASSURED OF A STRONGHOLD FOR OUR CAMPAIGN.
THE HOME IS A BATTLEFIELD. AND IN THIS BATTLEFIELD WE MUST WIN EVERY FAMILY
MEMBER’S COMMITMENT TO BECOME ANTI-DRUG ABUSE WARRIORS. WE MUST
STAND BEFORE FAMILIES AND MAKE THEM EAGER TO JOIN US. THAT IS WHERE OUR
NGOS ARE MOST NECESSARY. YOU WILL BRIDGE THE GOVERNMENT WITH ITS
AS WE ENABLE THE YOUTH AND OTHER COMMUNITY MEMBERS ON THE FIGHT
AGAINST DRUGS, WE ALSO BECOME MORE ADEPT AT OUR CAMPAIGN TO BE RID
OF THE DRUG MENACE. EVERYONE HAS THE CAPACITY TO MAKE THE MOST OF
THEIR POTENTIALS TO REMAIN DRUG FREE AND TO ALSO ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO
FOLLOW THE SAME EXAMPLE.
OUR YOUTH ARE EMPOWERED TO STAND UP AGAINST DRUG ABUSE AND OUR
FAMILIES ARE AS STRONG TO ENCOURAGE A DRUG-FREE LIFESTYLE. MORALITY,
SOBRIETY AND TEMPERANCE MUST BECOME CORNER-STONES OF OUR
CAMPAIGN. BY TAPPING THE FAMILY AND OUR YOUTH, WE ARE ALSO PUTTING
OUR TRUST IN THE MOST POTENT ALLY WE CAN HAVE.
THERE IS NO END TO WHAT WE CAN ACHIEVE IF ALL OF US WORK HAND-IN-HAND.
THE FILIPINO PEOPLE IS ONE WITH YOU IN WORKING FOR A DRUG-FREE WORLD.
WE REMAIN COMMITTED TO THIS CAMPAIGN, AND WITH YOU, WE HAVE THE
HIGHEST HOPES OF SEEING A BETTER PHILIPPINES AND A BETTER ASEAN!
MARAMING SALAMAT ANG MORE POWER!
19th IFNGO ASEAN NGOs WORKSHOP
Diamond Hotel, Manila
October 27-29, 2010
DIRECTOR GENERAL DIONISIO R. SANTIAGO
PHILIPPINE DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY
DR. CINDY DOLLENTE-ANG, FIRST VICE-PRESIDENT AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF
THE PHILIPPINE COUNCIL OF NON-GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS AGAINST
DRUG AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE (PHILCADSA); OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF
PHILCADSA; DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, GOOD MORNING.
I WISH TO EXTEND MY WARMEST GREETINGS AND SALUTATIONS TO ALL OF YOU AS
WE OPEN THE 19TH IFNGO FOR THE PREVENTION OF DRUG AND SUBSTANCE
ABUSE-ASEAN NGO’S WORKSHOP. THIS YEAR’S THEME: ―YOUTH AND FAMILY
TOGETHER AGAINST DRUGS‖ I AM BOTH GLAD AND PROUD TO HAVE PRO-ACTIVE
AND UNSELFISH N.G.O. PARTNERS LIKE YOU, FOR YOU ARE ALWAYS READY TO
STAND BESIDE PDEA WHILE WE AGGRESIVELY PURSUE OUR MANDATE AS THE
COUNTRY’S PREMIER DRUG LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY.
IN THIS CASE, I WOULD LIKE TO SPECIFY THE ROLE OF OUR YOUTH AS ANTI-DRUG
ADVOCATES IN THEIR OWN RIGHT. WITH THE ADVENT OF VARIOUS MODERN
MEANS OF COMMUNICATION AND A VERY ACTIVE MASS MEDIA, THE YOUTH ARE
CONSTANTLY EXPOSED TO VARIOUS INFLUENCES, BOTH GOOD AND BAD.
WE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO COMPLETELY SHIELD THEM FROM THE EFFECTS OF THESE
DYNAMIC FACTORS, BUT WE COULD MAKE AN HONEST EFFORT TO INSULATE THEM
THROUGH PROPER INDOCTRINATION. IT IS A WELL ESTABLISHED FACT THAT A
PRELUDE TO DRUG ABUSE IS BASICALLY SUBSTANCE ABUSE. HENCE, AT THE FIRST
SIGN OF INTEREST AND EXPERIMENTATION BY OUR YOUTH ON ANYTHING KNOWN
TO HAVE HABIT-FORMING EFFECTS, WE MUST IMMEDIATELY HALT THEM; AND RE-
DIRECT THEIR INTEREST ON MORE WORTHWHILE ENDEAVORS, LIKE SPORTS OR SELF-
ENHANCING HOBBIES. THE CHALLENGE LIES IN MAKING THE YOUTH REALIZE THAT
IT IS NEVER A PROSPECT TO VENTURE IN TO ANY FORM OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE, LIKE
SMOKING OR DRINKING, FOR EXAMPLE.
WHILE PRESENTING MODERATION SEEMS LIKE A VIABLE OPTION, NOTHING BEATS
THE BEST RECOURSE OF ABSTENTION FROM ANY HARMFUL VICE. CURIOSITY IS A
COMMON UNDERLYING FACTOR THAT TRIGGERS YOUTHS TO EXPERIMENT ON
USING DANGEROUS DRUGS, MOST OFTEN MUCH TO THEIR REGRET SHORTLY
DRUG SYNDICATES ARE CONSTANTLY INNOVATING WAYS AND MEANS,
CAPITALIZING ON THE CURIOSITY OF THE YOUNG ONES TO MAKE THEIR ILLICIT
PRODUCTS INTERESTING AND PALATABLE TO THEIR PREY, ESPECIALLY TO THE
WE MUST THEREFORE ANCHOR OUR STRATEGY ON THE BASIC RULES OF GOOD
AND EVIL. THIS IS A BASIC MORAL CONCEPT EASILY UNDERSTOOD BY EVERYONE
AND INNATE IN EVERY INDIVIDUAL. THEREFORE, OUR BATTLE CRY SHOULD BE
DRUG ABUSE IS BAD. BY REINFORCING THIS SIMPLE CONCEPT, WE CAN
EMPOWER OUR YOUTH AND TAKE THEM A STEP FURTHER INTO THE REALM OF
DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION AND CONTROL, WITH THE FIRM BELIEF THAT THEY ARE
WORKING ON THE SIDE OF GOOD.
AS PARENTS, WE HAVE A MORAL OBLIGATION TO OUR CHILDREN, IT IS OUR
RESPONSIBILITY TO ASSURE THAT EQUAL ATTENTION IS GIVEN TO EACH AND EVERY
CHILD. WE MUST ALSO MAINTAIN OPEN LINES COMMUNICATION AT ALL TIMES.
WE MUST UNDERSTAND THAT LISTENING IS THE BEST WAY OF UNDERSTANDING.
ALWAYS BE REMINDED THAT OUR CHILDREN IS THE REFLECT THE KIND OF PARENTS
THAT WE ARE.
WITH PROFOUND GRATITUDE AND JOY, I WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR THIS
GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY TO ADDRESS YOU ON THIS MOMENTOUS EVENT.
IN CLOSING, I BID YOU MABUHAY AND GODSPEED IN ALL YOUR ENDEAVORS.
19TH IFNGO ASEAN WORKSHOP
Diamond Hotel, Manila
October 27-29, 2010
MAYOR ALFREDO S. LIM
CITY OF MANILA
DATIN HAJAH MASNI BINTI HAJI MOHD ALI, PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL
FEDERATION OF NON-GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS FOR THE PREVENTION OF
DRUG AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE, THE MOST REVEREND LOREN TOM HINES,
PRESIDENT, CINDY DOLLENTE ANG, MS. NELLIE LACSON MERCADO, ALL OTHER
OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF PHILCADSA AND IFNGO, PARTICIPANTS, GUESTS,
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, GOOD MORNING.
MANY BOOKS AND PAMPHLETS HAVE BEEN WRITTEN AND SPEECH MESSAGES
DELIVERED, ABOUT DRUG ADDICTION AS A MAJOR CONCERN FOR THE YOUTH
AND SOCIETY. MANY HAD ALREADY SACRIFICED A LOT, INCLUDING THEIR LIVES
TO PUT A STOP TO THIS GROWING MENACE. HOWEVER, WE HAVE YET TO ACHIEVE
SUBSTANTIAL WIN IN OUR EFFORTS TO CURB DRUG ADDICTION. WE IN THE CITY
FOR ONE HAD RESORTED TO EXTREME MEASURES OF PAINTING HOUSES, BECAUSE
WE BELIEVE EXTREME PROBLEM CALLS FOR EXTREME MEASURES. HOWEVER, WE
WERE STOPPED BY HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS, WHO BELIEVE HUMAN RIGHTS TAKES
PRECEDENCE OVER DRUG ADDICTION PROBLEM.
THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT DRUG ADDICTION AFFECTS NOT ONLY THE ADDICT AND
HIS OR HER LOVED ONES, BUT ALSO SOCIETY AT LARGE. DRUG ADDICTION’S
DEBILITATING EFFECTS RANGE FROM FINANCIAL, TO PHYSICAL, TO EMOTIONAL
AND PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SHOULD BY NO MEANS BE TAKEN LIGHTLY.
ADDICTION IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM. IT IS A DISEASE THAT IS DISCREETLY
PROGRESSIVE AND MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, UNDETECTABLE BY ITS VICTIMS UNTIL
LIFE IS COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTROL, RIDDLED WITH DISPARITY, FINANCIAL
HARDSHIPS, ARRESTS, INSTABILITY AND SOMETIMES DEATH. MANY VIOLENT CRIMES
HAVE BEEN LINKED TO THE MIND-ALTERING EFFECTS OF DRUGS.
DRUG ADDICTION IS NO LONGER LIMITED TO THE POOR AND UNDERPRIVILEGED.
NOWADAYS, DRUG ADDICTION IS WIDESPREAD AS IT IS BEING EMBRACED BY
SOCIETY’S BRIGHTEST, RICHEST AND MOST RESPECTED MEMBERS. IT KNOWS NO
BARRIERS OR BOUNDERIES. WORST, MANY SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROBLEMS START IN
CHILDHOOD OR ADOLESCENCE. ABUSE PREVENTION EFFORTS SHOULD
THEREFORE BE REINFORCED IN SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITY SETTINGS AND
PUTTING EMPHASIS ON TEACHING CHILDREN RESISTANCE SKILLS, CORRECTION IN
THEIR MISPERCEPTIONS ABOUT CIGARETTES, ALCOHOL, AND DRUGS AND THE
CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR USE.
WORKING ON A PROGRAM TO STRENGTHEN THE FAMILY, IS AN EFFECTIVE
METHOD OF ADDRESSING DRUG ADDICTION. THE FAMILY IS OFTEN VIEWED AS THE
BASIC SOURCE OF STRENGTH, PROVIDING NURTURANCE AND SUPPORT FOR ITS
INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS. FAMILIES CAN HAVE A POWERFUL INFLUENCE ON SHAPING
THE ATTITUDES, VALUES AND BEHAVIOR OF CHILDREN. PROBLEMS ARISE WHEN
THAT INFLUENCE IS TESTED AGAINST PEER INFLUENCE. THE INFLUENCE OF PEER
GROUPS, WHICH IS USUALLY STRONG DURING FORMATIVE YEARS OF YOUTH, MAY
BE STRONGER THAN THAT OF PARENTS IN SOME CASES. HOWEVER,
INVESTIGATORS BELIEVE THAT THIS IS TRUE ONLY, WHEN THE PARENTS HAVE
ABDICATED THEIR TRADITIONAL SUPERVISORY ROLES. A STRONG FAMILY SYSTEM IS
THEREFORE A MUST IN OUR FIGHT AGAINST DRUG ADDICTION.
THE DECLARATION FROM UN’S COMMISSION OF NARCOTIC DRUGS FIFTY
SECOND SESSION IN VIENNA LAST MARCH 2009, WITH PARTICIPATION FROM 130
MEMBER COUNTRIES, STATE THAT ―WE ARE DETERMINED TO TACKLE THE WORLD
DRUG PROBLEM AND TO ACTIVELY PROMOTE A SOCIETY FREE OF DRUG ABUSE…‖
INDEED, THIS SHOULD BE OUR DREAM, OUR MISSION AND OUR BATTLE CRY.
AGAIN GOOD MORNING AND GOD BLESS US ALL.
Undersecretary Edgar C. Galvante
19th IFNGO ASEAN NGOs’ Workshop
29 October 2010
I AM GLAD TO BE WITH ALL OF YOU TONIGHT, EVEN AS THE WORKSHOP HAS
COME TO A CLOSE, TO MEET YOU ALBEIT THE LAST MOMENT— BUT AS THEY SAY,
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER. WE STILL HAVE SO MUCH IN STORE FOR ALL THE
PARTICIPANTS; WE HAVE PREPARED AWARDS TO BE GIVEN TO INDIVIDUALS WHO
HAVE UNCEASINGLY SERVED AS PILLARS OF THE IFNGO. I AM SURE THAT OUR
YOUNG DRUG ADVOCATES ARE AS EXCITED TO WITNESS THIS YEAR’S SEARCH FOR
MR. AND MS. PHILCADSA. I HOPE WE ALL ENJOY THE NIGHT.
I WISH TO CONGRATULATE THE IFNGO FOR ORGANIZING A WORKSHOP THAT HAS
ALLOWED NGOs FROM ALL OVER ASEAN TO FURTHER THEIR CAPACITY IN DRUG
ABUSE PREVENTION. THE THEME LIKEWISE PUTS UPFRONT A TIMELY ISSUE IN THE
ANTI-DRUG ABUSE ADVOCACY.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE, LET ME ALSO CONGRATULATE THE OFFICERS AND
MEMBERS OF THE PHILCADSA FOR SPEARHEADING THIS LAUDABLE UNDERTAKING.
ONCE AGAIN, YOU HAVE PROVEN THAT, INDEED, YOUR ORGANIZATION HAS
MAINTAINED A SATISFACTORY COLLABORATIVE NETWORK BETWEEN AND
AMONG LOCAL, NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL NGOs THROUGH THIS WELL-
ATTENDED AND SUCCESSFUL WORKSHOP.
THE THREE DAYS HAS SEEN EVERY PARTICIPATING AGENCY BECOME
THOROUGHLY INVOVED IN THE PROCEEDINGS. MORE IMPORTANTLY, WE ARE
LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEXT ASEAN NGOs’ WORKSHOP HOST TO
ENCOURAGE THE OPENNESS THAW WE HAVE NOTICED IN SHARING OUR BEST
PRACTICES. CONGRATULATIONS, IN ADVANCE FOR A JOB WELL DONE! I HOPE
THE WILLINGNESS TO LEARN FROM EACH OTHER IS CARRIED THROUGH THE NEXT
WORKSHOPS. AND MAY THE NEXT INFGO ASSEMBLIES PROVE TO BECOME A TRULY
ENRICHING ACTIVITY FOR ALL OF US.
OUR COUNTRIES’ CIVIL SOCIETY CONTINUE TO PLAY A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN
NATION-BUILDING, EVEN IN THE BATTLE THAT WE HAVE WAGED AGAINST DRUGS.
FROM A MERE CONDUIT OF SOCIAL SERVICES AND BRIDGE BETWEEN
COMMUNITIES AND OTHER SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS, THE PHILIPPINES’ POOL OF NGOs
ALSO SERVE AS CATALYSTS OF DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS, ADVOCATES OF
COMMUNITY ACTIONS AND VENUE FOR CONTINUING EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES.
NGOs PROVIDED MEMBER-INDIVIDUALS A STRENGTHENED SELF-IMAGE, GREATER
CONFIDENCE AND A HEIGHTENED SENSE OF CAPACITY TO TAKE ACTION FOR
COMMUNITY INTERESTS. I WOULD SAY THAT, NGOs ARE NOT ONLY EFFECTIVE IN
GENERATING FUNDS BUT ALSO IN AFFECTING SOCIAL CHANGE.
AS YOU GO BACK TO YOUR HOME COUNTRIES, MAY YOU BE HEARTENED ALL THE
MORE— YOU ARE IMPORTANT ALLIES AND WARRIORS IN THE CAUSE THAT WE ARE
ALL FIGHTING FOR. MAY YOU ALL BECOME SOCIAL CHANGE AGENTS, NOT ONLU
ON THE CREATION OF A DRUG-FREE WORLD, BUT ALSO IN OTHER SOCIAL
PROBLEMS CONFRONTING EACH AND EVERY NATION.
THE DEDICATION AND COMMITMENT OF ALL THE PARTICIPATING NGOs IS A FEAT
WORTHY OF EMULATION. I TRUST THAT YOUR PASSION WILL NEITHER WAVER, NOR
WILL YOU BE TIRED OF HELPING THOSE MOST IN NEED. AS YOU WORK HAND-IN-
HAND WITH YOUR OWN NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS, ARMED WITH WHAT YOU
HAVE LEARNED FROM THIS WORKSHOP, MAY YOU BREATHE IN FRESH
PERSPECTIVES IN YOUR OWN NATIONAL ANTI-DRUG ABUSE CAMPAIGNS.
YOUR OWN CULTURE OF READINESS AND ACCEPTANCE WILL SEE YOU THROUGH.
AS YOU IMPLEMENT PROJECTS THAT CATER TO YOUR OWN BENEFICIARIES, MAY
YOU STILL CONTINUE DEVELOPING YOUR NETWORK. WE HOPE THAT YOU DO NOT
STOP SHARING EXPERIENCES AMONG YOUR REGIONAL GROUPS. PLEASE ALWAYS
REMEMBER THAT KNOWLEDGE SHARED IS PROGRESS EARNED.
THIS IS A PROUD MOMENT FOR THE PHILIPPINES, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. LIKE
YOU, WE ARE HAPPY TO SHARE THIS MILESTONE WITH OUR ASEAN FRIENDS. WE
ARE VENTURING ON IMPROVING PARTNERSHIPS AND STRENGTHENING
COLLABORATIONS IN THE FIELD OF DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION AND CONTROL.
AS WE CLOSE THIS ACTIVITY, I HOPE THAT WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO REFLECT ON THE
MOTIVATIONS THAT WE HAVE FOR CARRYING-OUT OUR ROLES. WHAT THEN
DRIVES US? I BELIEVE THAT OUR BELIEF IN THE INNATE CAPACITY OF EVERY
INDIVIDUAL TO DO GOOD AND TO BECOME BETTER IS WHAT MAKES US BELIEVE IN
THIS CAUSE OF KEEPING OUR HOMES AND COMMUNITIES DRUG-FREE.
FRIENDS, CONGRATULATIONS FOR A JOB WELL-DONE AND CONGRATULATIONS
FOR PURSUING A CAUSE THAT IS NOBLE! TILL WE MEET EACH OTHER AGAIN, WITH
MORE STORIES OF SUCCESSES TO SHARE, AND WITH MORE LESSONS TO GAIN
FROM EACH OTHER.
HANGGANG SA MULI, MABUHAY PO KAYO!