Drug law enforcers in green shirts running after drug personalities- this is usually the picture conjured up in the mind of the public whenever they hear or read news about the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
PDEA, however, retains a soft spot, especially for children.
PDEA Director General Undersecretary Jose S. Gutierrez, Jr. led the men and women of PDEA in giving an early Christmas party to a hundred children, from toddlers to 19 years old, undergoing cancer treatment at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center in Quezon City. The young cancer patients were presented with gifts, foods and other surprises.
“We (drug enforcers) fight drugs that destroy lives. But these children (with cancer) fight for their lives every day,” Gutierrez said, adding that he admires the determination of the children to win their personal battle over cancer,” the PDEA chief added.
“This is the least anyone could do- give these children the opportunity to experience the joy being children without care… even for just a short while take their mind off the seriousness of their fight,” the PDEA chief added.
This is the first time that PDEA has undertaken such program, although Gutierrez has been personally conducting similar projects for years now.
Meanwhile, another program for children was facilitated by PDEA. This time the beneficiaries are the students of an elementary public school in Quezon City.
Gutierrez personally turned over 10 computer sets to Dr. Emma C. Quintana, Principal, San Jose High School in Mauban, Barangay San Jose, Quezon City. Quintana was very grateful to the PDEA Director General for the donation.
The PDEA Chief said conducting such community outreach program stems from his being a Rotarian for 13 years. Gutierrez is a past president of the Rotary Club of North Balintawak, District 3780, Quezon City.
“We want to show that PDEA has the iron-hand against illegal drug personalities, and at the same time a heart of compassion for children. We want to show that PDEA cares,” Gutierrez said. Evangeline DJ Almenario, Chief, Public Information Office, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency