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Drug clearing efforts in Region 1 on track – PDEA

By Joanna Diaz Sabado, PIA 1, La Union

SAN FERNANDO CITY – As of July 13, 2017, a total of 482 villages of the 2,829 drug-affected villages in Region 1 are now validated as drug-cleared, 282 of which are in Pangasinan while 202 is in La Union, and 23 each in Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte.

This was announced by Regional Director Joeffrey Tacio of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) during the Dangerous Drugs Abuse Prevention and Treatment Summit held July 14 at the Oasis Country Resort here.

For a community to be declared as drug-cleared, Tacio said “there should be no more identified drug users and pushers, no plantation of marijuana, no warehouse or laboratory of illegal drugs and with sustainable program of the local government for drug surrenderers.”

On the part of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Regional Director James Fadrilan cited the vital role of Mamamayan Ayaw sa Droga, Mamamayan Ayaw sa Anomalya (MASA MASID) teams in helping in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs and corruption.

These teams composed of volunteers also play an active role in gathering information on criminality, anti-illegal drugs, and corruption in the grassroots level, which includes identification of plantation of illegal drugs especially in the remote mountainous areas,” Fadrilan said.

Most recent report of the Police Regional Office 1 here reveals that a total of 10, 074 have already been declared graduates of the community based rehabilitation program (CBRP), the program of the local governments for their drug surrenderers.

CBRP involves the participation of different stakeholders of the LGU like national government agencies and civil society organizations that provide skills and livelihood trainings, spiritual sessions, community services and other physical activities.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) is tasked in the rehabilitation, recovery, and treatment of substance abuse.

In the region, the Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Dagupan City undertakes screenings and assessment of mass surrenderers and determines the severity of their drug use and further classifies cases if these could be accommodated in CBRP or as out-patient cases.

Tacio and Fadrilan, along with Dr. Edwin Sanchez of the DOH Region 1, led the participants in the signing of commitment for advocating and working for a drug-free community which became the highlight of the Summit.#