MANILA - Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa has filed a bill to include substance abuse education in 4th Grade to 12th Grade.
Under Senate Bill No. 228, students of said levels must learn about the dangers of substance abuse, develop the ability to resist pressure to use drugs, and identify the ill-effects to the society of drug addiction.
"This proposed measure is a solution to the problem on drugs as evidenced by various researches which proved that introduction to drug addiction and prevention of substance abuse and its harmful effect to the young generation could drastically help combat the drug problem in many countries," Dela Rosa said.
Dela Rosa claimed that based on numerous studies, early education on the prevention of substance abuse could save young people from addiction and its negative effects.
"These studies have shown that people are more likely to develop an addiction if they start using the illegal substances at a young age," he explained.
"The youth, once involved in drug abuse will likely have academic, relationship and health problems. This leads to lower grades, dropping out from schools and having damaged physical, cognitive and emotional development," he continued.
At present, the K-12 curriculum introduces substance abuse in the 9th Grade where students are usually teenagers aged 15 years old.
Dela Rosa said introduction at this stage might be too late because they may be already involved or even have tried illegal drugs.
The senator, a former Philippine National Police chief, oversaw the administration's anti-drug campaign Oplan Tokhang from 2016 to 2018.
Dela Rosa has been embroiled in a lot of controversies, especially in incidents related to the government's war on drugs.
He drew flak lately after saying “sh*t happens” when asked to comment on the death of a 3-year-old girl in a buy-bust operation in Rodriguez, Rizal. He later apologized.