"2 Ilocos Norte towns, 80 barangays now drug-free" - PDEA

Oct 24, 2017 ...

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Ilocos Norte declared the towns of Carasi and Marcos, and 80 other barangays in Ilocos Norte as "completely drug-free."

The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) can consider a local community as "drug-free" if supply of illegal drugs, transit and trade, drug laboratories and warehouses, drug dens, marijuana cultivation sites, users and pushers, protectors, and financiers are absent.

Ms. Lanibel Ancheta, provincial officer of PDEA Ilocos Norte, said the most effective method to eradicate illegal drugs in the province is through the implementation of barangay clearings and community-based rehabilitation programs.

Earlier this month, President Rodrigo R. Duterte issued a memorandum directing PDEA to lead anti-drug operations after initially mandating the Philippine National Police (PNP) to spearhead the said campaign at the beginning of his term last year. The latest directive was in accordance with the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 or Republic Act (RA)  9165 which mandates PDEA to enforce the provisions of the law and serve as the implementing arm of the DDB.

Despite having only six officers in Ilocos Norte, PDEA continues to coordinate with the Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Office (INPPO) in conducting drug-clearing operations and supply reduction measures.

In its continuing campaign for a livable, sustainable, and resilient Ilocos Norte, the Provincial Government lead by Governor Imee R. Marcos strongly supports the anti-drug operations:

"Sumusugod ang anti-Private Firearms Group (PFAG) natin, PDEA at PNP. Kailangan ang tulong ng barangay, ng kabataan, upang mabuwag ang mga malalaking sindikato. Salakniban ti biag dagiti annaktayo!" (Pangalagaan ang buhay ng mga kabataan!)

PDEA Ilocos Norte and PNP continue to conduct lectures on illegal drugs and community-based rehabilitation programs to achieve a drug-free province in line with the principle of Governor Marcos that "peace and order are the requisite of development."

In addition, in 2018 PGIN is set to open a pilot rehabilitation clinic in Vintar District Hospital in consonance with the anti-drug campaign of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

"Ti gobierno ti sanggir iti umili" (Ang gobyerno ay sandalan ng mga mamamayan), she said, "By investing in Ilocano families, we can overcome the unbearable social cost of reckless migration... We must confront our youth in crisis, and provide solutions to substance abuse, teenage pregnancy, suicide, and other social ills wrought within heartbroken families."

Aside from the drug rehabilitation clinic, a pilot family shelter is also targeted for establishment at the Doña Josefa E. Marcos District Hospital.

by Edison Justin Deus



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