MANGALDAN officially joined the list of towns and cities in Pangasinan declared as drug-free by a regional Oversight Committee of the Philippine Enforcement Agency (PDEA) during a ceremony in the municipal hall on November 26.
PDEA provincial head Dexter Asayto read the certification signed by PDEA Regional Director Bryan Babang, officially declaring Mangaldan as drug-free after it accomplished all the requirements set by Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation entitled” Strengthening the implementation of drug clearing issued by the oversight committee on drugs”.
Asayto and Police Provincial Director Wilson Lopez presented the certification to Mayor Bona Fe Parayno and members of the municipal council headed by Vice Mayor Pedro Surdilla Jr.
The regional Oversight Committee, composed of representatives of PDEA, Department of Interior and Local Government, Philippine National Police and the Department of Health, also acknowledged that the more than 200 drug surrenderers from 30 barangays have completed the mandatory Community-based Rehabilitation Program.
Lopez said records of the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office list Mangaldan as the 29th town in Pangasinan to be declared drug-free.
He told the town’s officials and police that the declaration of the town as drug-free comes with added and bigger responsibilities since it must work harder to preserve its status lest it reverts to its being a drug-affected town.
He called on the members of the Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council and the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council to heighten their vigilance to prevent illegal drug trading from taking roots again by looking out for strangers frequenting their communities.
Meanwhile, Mayor Parayno congratulated the drug surrenderers of the town for their willingness to change and embrace a new life.
Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Rhodyn Luchinvar Oro, representing Gov. Amado Espino III, expressed confidence that Pangasinan can finally attain a drug-free status soon.
In the same occasion, a resolution of the municipal council declaring the whole of Mangaldan as drug-free was read while the 30 barangay captains received certification attesting to their new status.
Meanwhile, Ms. Dina Pinlac, municipal local government operations officer, revealed that the drug-free status of a municipality, city and province is now one of the new criteria to qualify for the Seal of Local Good Governance. (Leonardo Micua)
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