National Youth Commission sees fitness as way to prevent drug use

FOR FITNESS. Stakeholders of the FitFil Youth Against Drugs program come together for its launch on July 14, 2018.

Photo by Loreben Tuquero/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The National Youth Commission (NYC) sees the potential of fitness as a way to prevent drug use and addiction among Filipino youth.

The NYC has partnered with the Philippine National Police (PNP), local government units, and various members of the private sector for a program called FitFil Youth Against Drugs.

The PNP has committed 200 cops who will serve as "big brothers" or fitness coaches for young people across the country. These policemen will be trained and given workout regimens for them to lead and share with the youth.

They will be collaborating with Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) federation presidents, who committed themselves to the program during the SK Summit last Wednesday, July 11. (READ: Youth commission gives SK leaders '24 steps' for reforms)

According to NYC Commissioner Rhea Peñaflor, they are harmonizing and modifying – not duplicating – the government programs that are already in place.

"We are harmonizing all the programs of the government on drug prevention. That's why we [have] tapped [the] PNP, and of course, [the] PNP is fully supporting the National Youth Commission together with the other associations on fitness as well," she said.

The fitness program was launched on Saturday, July 14, with around 400 youth participants in attendance.  

In an interview with Rappler, Metro Manila top cop Chief Superintendent Guillermo Eleazar said the program would contribute to the "holistic approach" of the campaign against illegal drugs. 

He added that they are focusing on the youth for this program because young people are the likely targets of drug syndicates.

Eleazar also stressed the importance of prevention and rehabilitation in the fight against illegal drugs. 

"Iyong rehabilitation is another focus na dapat nating matutukan dahil sad to say... nakita natin na ang daming nabiktima ng droga, millions and millions of Filipinos. Kaya dapat ito bigyan ng tiyansa na magbagong-buhay, magkaroon ng rehabilitation, and to be reintegrated sa ating community," he said.

(Rehabilitation is another aspect we should focus on because sad to say, we have seen that millions and millions of Filipinos have been victimized by drugs. So we should give them a second chance at life, let them undergo rehabilitation, and be reintegrated into our community.)

The PNP previously conducted an internal fitness program to promote a healthier lifestyle back in 2017. (LOOK: IN PHOTOS: PNP chief Dela Rosa leads 'Mission: Slim Possible' launch) –

Loreben Tuquero is a Rappler intern. She is an AB Communication student at the Ateneo de Manila University.

Loreben Tuquero

Loreben Tuquero is a researcher-writer for Rappler. Before transferring to Rappler's Research team, she covered transportation, Quezon City, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government as a reporter. She graduated with a communication degree from the Ateneo de Manila University.