MANILA, Philippines-The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) expressed concerns over the continuing use of children as unwitting conduits of illegal drug trade.

PDEA Director General Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac, Jr. believed that there is such a trend in light of an incident involving a Grade 3 pupil in Bacolod City, who was unaware that she was carrying a sachet of methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu in her school bag.

The 10-year-old girl, who was inside her classroom, noticed that a sachet containing the illegal drug wrapped in paper accidentally fell from her notebook. There was even a note written on the paper, including the cost of the illegal drug, most likely addressed to its intended user.

“Drug pushers are getting more brazen and creative by the day. They never cease to figure out ways to get away with their illicit transactions, even using innocent children as unwitting couriers, and public establishments like schools, to transport and sell illegal drugs,” Cacdac said.

PDEA also received similar reports that some pushers and drug traffickers even used babies and children to conceal dangerous drugs, usually hiding them inside the baby’s clothing.

To protect children’s rights and prevent children from being used as couriers by drug syndicates, the PDEA chief said they will be creating help desks in all PDEA regional offices that will cater solely to women and children.

In the Eastern Visayas, several apprehensions for drug possession have been observed where children have been involved, either as repositories of the drugs or to deflect suspicion from jail officials.

Atty. Gil T. Pabilona, in an effort to address this burgeoning problem, is drafting a proposal to the Development Administration committee for endorsement to the Regional Development Council on possible ways and means to address this problem in conjunction with the PNP and DSWD.(PR)