ATCPDE members attend 29th ASOD Meeting in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
by Dr. Rosanelia Yangco
Quezon City (29 September) -- Three members of the ASEAN Training Center for Preventive Drug Education (ATCPDE), namely, Dr. Rosanelia T. Yangco, Science Education faculty of the University of the Philippines College of Education; Ms. Teresita C. Pineda, Officer-in-Charge of the Preventive Education Training and Information Division of Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB); and Ms. Emma R. Pastorfide, Training Specialist III of DDB, attended the 29th Meeting of Senior Officials on Drug Matters (ASOD) on August 24-28, 2008 at the Rizqun International Hotel in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam.
The 29th ASOD was hosted by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of Brunei Darussalam which is under the Prime Minister's Office. Close-door sessions were presided over by Mr. Abdul Aziz Othman, Acting Director of NCB.
Six other Filipinos comprised the Philippine delegation to this meeting. They were Dr. Jade F. Del Mundo, head of the delegation and Undersecretary of the Department of Health; Col. Benjamin B. Magalong, Regional Director, Special Enforcement Service of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA); Ms. Ma. Belen V. Matibag, Deputy Executive Director for Operations (DDB); Ms. Angelita D. Adaliga, Chief of the Public Assistance Center (PDEA); Mr. Antonio C. Montojo, Jr., Chief of the Anti-Drug Abuse Council of Makati City; and Mr. Romeo B. Pilapil, Secretary for Local Government Unit Affairs, Association of Metro Manila Anti-Drug Abuse Councils, also based in Makati City.
The nine delegates participated in various working group sessions. Ms. Matibag chaired the Preventive Drug Education Group with Ms. Adaliga and Ms. Partorfide as members; Dr. Yangco was part of the Research Group; Dr. Del Mundo and Ms. Pineda belonged to the Treatment and Rehabilitation Working Group; Col. Magalong served as rapporteur of the Law Enforcement Group with Mr. Montojo, Jr. as member and Mr. Pilapil was involved in the Alternative Development Group.
ASEAN countries like Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos (Lao PDR), Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam were also well-represented in the ASOD. These ASEAN member countries together with the Philippines and Brunei Darussalam expressed their commitment to WORK for a Drug-Free region in 2015.
The Philippine Embassy treated the Philippine delegates to lunch and high tea on August 24 and August 27, respectively, with Consul Ethel Balatbat and the staff of the Philippine Embassy attending to their needs, in the absence of Ambassador Virginia Benavidez, who was then in the Philippines. Both the Philippine Embassy personnel and the members of the Brunei Darussalam Narcotics Control Bureau welcomed the delegates at the Brunei International Airport and facilitated all their activities throughout their stay.
The Philippine delegation to the 29th ASOD from left to right are Mr. Romeo B. Pilapil, Ms. Emma R. Pastorfide, Dr. Rosanelia T. Yangco, Ms. Ma. Belen V. Matibag, Col. Benjamin B. Magalong, Mr. Antonio C. Montojo, Jr., Ms. Angelita D. Adaliga and Ms. Teresita C. Pineda.
Seated on the dinner table for high tea on August 27, 2008 in the residence of the Philippine Ambassador Virginia Buenavides are the Philippine delegates to the 29th ASOD with Undersecretary Jade F. Del Mundo (at left, wearing white shirt with stripes) together with wife who is also a medical doctor (on opposite side, wearing white long-sleeved blouse), and Consul Celeste Vinzon-Balatbat, Charge d' Affaires (seated beside the Undersecretary's wife).