Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong yesterday (Jan 29) officially launched a one-day youth anti-drug education event at the Tapao Yai community building in Wichit, with 1,000 students taking part.
The event targeted students in drug “risk groups”, and students who tested positive for drugs in random urine checks at schools, with the aim of preventing drug problems among youths by educating them about the dangers of narcotics and drug use.
In the morning, 500 students from schools under the Secondary Educational Service Area Office 14 attended the program, and in the afternoon another 500 students from Phuket Vocational College took part.
The project was organised by the Phuket Centre for Drug Prevention and Suppression and attended by Phuket Provincial Office Chief Administrative Officer (Palad) Sakchai Kunanawatchaidej, Prison Director Somkhit Khammang, Wichit Mayor Kreeta Chotiwitpipat, program trainer Dr Pongsak Tangkana, relevant organisations and students.
“In accordance with the 2018 campaign ‘Pracharat Ruamjai’ (citizens together in heart), the government has the objective to reduce drug problems,” Mr Sakchai said.
“Drug-prevention measures include keeping youths safe from narcotics and pro-actively protecting children and teenagers who tested positive in random drug tests,” he said.
“According to drug-monitoring information, there has been an increase in drug use among teenagers in Phuket over the past year,” Mr Sakchai added.
Of note, Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Teeraphol Thipjaroen last year gave an early warning over concerns of how more young users may be lured into using drugs in light of the huge fall in the street price of narcotics – and of crystal meth (ya ice) in particular. (See story here.)
Meanwhile at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday, Vice Governor Prakob Wongmaneerung presided over 2018’s first protection committee and job development meeting, which discussed action plans to “prevent and combat prostitution”.
The meeting, also attended by relevant government agencies, aimed to prepare action plans to prevent and solve the problem of prostitution in the province through preventative measures, such as brothel and risk area checks, social organisation plans, plans to strengthen the youth council, and plans to drive the tasks of volunteers and civil society, Vice Governor Prakob said.
“Inspections carried out in the year 2017 found no offences,” V/Gov Prakob noted, speaking on official action on venues believed to be supporting prostitution.
“For the preparation of prevention plans to deal with prostitution in Phuket in from 2018 to 2021, Phuket has drawn up plans covering these areas: protection, assistance, law enforcement and policy development,” he added.
“These plans are designed to cover all aspects to prevent further offences in Phuket,” he said.
However, details of what action – if any – officials will be taking to counter prostitution on the island remained unexplained.