By Eldie Aguirre, PNA
DIGOS CITY— The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Region 11 (PDEA-11) declared Wednesday two villages here as drug-free.
PDEA-11 Director Antonio Rivera named Barangays Binaton and Tiguman of Digos City as the two newest villages declared as drug-free.
In 2017, Barangay Kapatagan in Digos City was declared as drug-free while Barangay Matti was also added to the list of drug-free barangays in 2018. There are 26 villages comprising Digos City.
Outgoing Digos City Mayor Joseph Peñas and other local officials signed the documents supporting the declaration.
Binaton Barangay Captain Manuel Saqueral and Tiguman Barangay Captain Josephine Cumahig received a plaque of recognition for their respective efforts in helping the government in its anti-drug abuse campaign given by the PDEA-11.
Rivera said the fight against drugs in the region began when Narcotics Director Wilkins Villanueva headed the regional office.
“This is the time that we will help each other in cleaning our own doorsteps so that in the near future we can eliminate the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country,” Rivera said
He recalled that in 1998, the Department of the Interior and Local Government issued a memorandum circular aiming to strengthen the anti-drug abuse councils in the country.
“Today, we have the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) that is supposed to be a more intensive campaign strategy to curb the drug menace but there are only a few who responded. And that is the reason why that the PDEA and DILG have crafted a joint resolution to make the anti-drug abuse councils more functional and those who will refuse to imposed the same will be administratively charged,” Rivera said.
Meanwhile, Peñas pointed out that the fight against illegal drugs has already been incorporated as a requirement for an LGU to qualify for the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) award.
Peñas said the government must push the campaign against drugs into the next level by involving everybody in the community.
“I am extending my deepest gratitude to all who helped my administration in pursuing our campaign against illegal drugs. Now that I will be living a civilian life, I will do my own share to help the government achieve its objective in my own little way,” Peñas said.
In Digos City, 192 anti-drug operations have been conducted since 2016, resulting in the arrest of 187 persons arrested — five of whom were killed in a shootout with the police. (PNA)