LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – Local Government Secretary Ismael D. Sueno commended the Pangasinan provincial government for extending its all-out support to the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
He also thanked the provincial government as well as the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) for coming up with a worthy endeavor such as a whole-day multi-sectoral summit.
He stressed that inasmuch as Pres. Duterte would like to totally eradicate the drugs menace in six months, he cannot do it alone.
As such, the DILG secretary said several measures were launched to fully attain the goal of the President such as the conduct of lifestyle checks among public officials and the MASA MASID (Neighbor’s Watch) program, an umbrella organization to be facilitated by all barangays in the country especially in the provinces, where it will coordinate all private and government groups.
He stated that the program hopes to institutionalize volunteerism in barangays by integrating community-based rehabilitation program and anti-illegal drugs campaign.
“We will ask people in the barangay to voluntarily join as we aim to institutionalize volunteerism among students,” he said adding that the younger generation can join in community projects like cleaning of environment.
On the part of the provincial government, Gov. Amado “Pogi” I. Espino III along with other Pangasinan local chief executives and the entire police force have pledged their full support to the anti-illegal drugs program waged by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Lauding the leadership of Pres. Duterte, Gov. Pogi vowed to give importance to the various gains of the previous administration in different fields of endeavor that include anti-drugs campaign led by his father, former Governor now 5th district representative Amado T. Espino, Jr. which are all geared towards “setting the right environment for Pangasinenses.”
Proof of the deep concern of the Espino administration, he said, was the effort of activating 100 percent of anti-drug councils all over the province down to the barangal level and the sizeable amount of fund that was appropriated by the provincial government to address the social menace.
Citing records, the DILG secretary said crime rate has reached 70 percent including those in barangays and provinces. This was decreased by 50 percent after the authorities have intensified drive against illegal drugs, he added.
In addition to this, he said that the establishment of four rehabilitation centers in the country will be realized next year. These will be strategically located in Luzon with two facilities, Visayas and Mindanao with one facility each.
Aside from the DILG secretary, two PDEA officials likewise expressed their support to the program.
PDEA Director General Isidro Lapena, stated during the summit that the role of the grassroots is as important as the role of authorities.
The time-frame given by Pres. Duterte to eradicate illegal drugs in six months, he said, can be possible if the entire community will unite.
On the other hand, PDEA regional director Jeoffrey C. Tacio presented the national and regional drug situation report wherein he disclosed that around 700,000 drug users/pushers have voluntarily surrendered to authorities.
Present during the summit were Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Z. Calimlim, Jr., PNP Regional Director Chief Supt. Gregorio Pimentel, Senior Superintendent Ronald Oliver Lee (Acting PNP Provincial Director), members of the provincial board, LGU officials, and barangay council members.
Pledge of Commitment and Support to the Anti-Illegal Drugs Campaign was also signed by the various government officials and sectoral leaders during the event.