Former child actor Christopher de Venecia, a son of former Speaker Jose de Venecia and former Pangasinan Rep. Gina de Venecia, has emerged from the shadow of his parents.
The younger De Venecia, who is now congressman of the 4th District of Pangasinan, delivered his first privilege speech on Wednesday, and took up an anti-illegal drugs advocacy.
"I rise on a matter of personal privilege to offer my support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs," he said.
De Venecia has the following suggestions:
- The immediate convening of Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council as the first-line of defense in this war against drugs.
- The Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) should include Drug Education in the curriculum of all levels including primary, secondary and tertiary education.
- The establishment and expansion of existing drug rehabilitation centers such as the ones found in Davao, Pangasinan, Cebu, Zamboanga, Albay, Camarines Sur, Iloilo, Negros Occidental and Leyte, among others.
- On the part of media conglomerates, celebrity culture, and mass media, it is imperative that government work hand in hand with them in the propagation of drug prevention, measures and mechanisms.
De Venecia also echoed Duterte’s call for the conversion of some portions of military camps into interim rehabilitation and drug assessment centers.
He said the creation of employment and livelihood opportunities for rehabilitated individuals could also serve as incentive for those undergoing rehabilitation.
De Venecia is set to file two House bills within the week on the issue.
De Venecia also called for an increase in the national health budget dedicated to the rehabilitation of former drug users.
His parents were on hand at the plenary session to show their support.
The former House Speaker said, "He's 29 years old. I think he's one of the youngest. He's beginning to be better than me."
His wife said, "Siyempre I come from the movie industry. Si Christopher mas nakakarelate sa masa because that's how we were brought up."
"We taught him how to walk with kings and eat with paupers," she said. "Magaling siya makisama sa tao."