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Pangasinan summit taps barangays in anti-drug drive

CAPITOL NEWS

LINGAYEN –A multi-sector summit that aims to bring the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign to the grassroots level in Pangasinan was held Wednesday in the Sison Auditorium at the Capitol Complex in this town.

The provincial government organized the conference in response to a call by Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas for greater participation by the local government units (LGUs) in the drive to stamp out the drug menace in the country.

Representatives of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and other government line agencies attended the meeting featuring barangay chieftains as main participants.

Pledge of Commitment Against Illegal Drugs. Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. (foreground) and Local Government Undersecretary Tomasito Villarin lead the signing on the Pledge of Commitment to signify an intensified campaign against illegal drug use and trade in the province during the first ever Pangasinan Anti-Illegal Drugs Summit at the Sison Auditorium in Lingayen last December 10.

“Let us strive to make Pangasinan drug-free,” Gov. Amado Espino said, as he rallied thousands of village chieftains, officials and executives of local government units and line agencies at the first ever provincial summit.

He underscored the role of the LGUs as a source of vital intelligence information to effectively wage the campaign. “If we can strengthen our intelligence gathering at the barangays, we can lick this illegal drugs problem,” Espino stressed.

After focusing on improving health care services and environmental protection since 2007, Gov. Espino said that he will devote his time in wiping out the drug menace in the province.

DDB Undersecretary Rommel Garcia, who represented DDB Secretary Antonio Villar, echoed the Espino’s sentiment, saying the governor’s vision is attainable.

Pangasinan’s Anti-Drug Abuse Summit – “A good strategy,” – DILG Usec Villarin. Department of the Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Tomasito Villarin (upper photo) hails the provincial government of Pangasinan for its anti-drug abuse programs that drawn unified effort and support from the barangay level, local government units, Dangerous Drugs Board, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Philippine National Police (lower photo).

DILG Undersecretary Tomasito Villarin, representing Secretary Mar Roxas, also rallied behind Pangasinan’s anti-illegal drugs initiatives.

Villarin pointed out that drug abuse is a societal problem which needs the participation of the entire society to address it

Villarin also cited the need for a data-driven approach to contextualize how illegal drugs and crimes are committed.

For his part, provincial board member Amado I Espino, Jr. who spearheaded the reorganization and reactivation of the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) said “the establishment of more efficient reporting, monitoring and coordinating systems, enjoining active intervention of various key players are needed to come up with a clear and integrated province-wide campaign against illegal drug.”

“The war against (illegal) drugs is far from over, but this could be triumphed through conscious, sustained and concerted action,” the younger Espino added.

Espino also thanked the barangay officials who came in droves to attend the summit which was conducted in partnership with the DILG, DDB, the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

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