Bacolod City local government officials and barangay leaders were urged to be more dedicated in the anti-illegal drugs campaign and to start clearing the 61 barangays in the city of the menace, during the launching of the “Rehabinasyon,” at the Bacolod City Government Center, Saturday.
“Rehabinasyon” is an inter-agency program for rehabilitating the nation against illegal drugs where local government units are assisted in enforcing local anti-drugs abuse activities, Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Ramon Cualoping III said.
“Rehabinasyon,” a portmanteu of the words “rehabilitation” and “nation,” is the Philippine government’s all-encompassing campaign against illegal drugs. Its theme is “Rehabilitating the Nation Together.”
The latest records show that none of the 61 barangays in Bacolod have been declared “drug-cleared”, Wardley Getalla, regional director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-6, said.
Getalla added that in 2017, the drug affectation in Negros Occidental, including Bacolod, was 82 percent.
Leocadio Trovela, director of the National Barangay Operations Office under the DILG, said more dedication on implementing anti-drug activities should be made to declare barangays in Bacolod cleared of drugs.
Thirty-six barangays in Bacolod are moderately drug-affected and the 25 belongs to the less seriously drug-affected classification, Trovela said.
"If there are reported cases of illegal drug use and trade in a barangay that is drug cleared, they will have 30 days of moratorium to solve the problem," Trovela said, adding, "After the moratorium, if it's still not solved, the barangay will be declared affected."
Cualoping said that despite the "not that good" record of Bacolod in terms of affectation, the city has a very good rating in terms of implementing mechanisms to eradicate illegal drug activities.
"Bacolod is not that good but also not bad. We are somewhere in the middle in terms of implementation, the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council is very good,” Cualoping said.
With the programs set by the city against drug abuse, Cualoping is hopeful that Bacolod will be drug free within the year.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, meanwhile, said that he is happy that Malacañang has chosen Bacolod City as one of the venues for the launching of “Rehabinasyon,” a holistic approach in eliminating the country’s drug problems that puts a premium on the rehabilitation of drug surrenderers.
“The City is happy that the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) and the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) have chosen our beloved city as venue for Rehabinasyon,” Leonardia said in his message during the launching.
Leonardia stressed, “The city government of Bacolod has been strongly supportive of President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drug campaign.”
The mayor added that CADAC has been very active and enthusiastic in performing its roles and duties, and aligned its composition, structures and thrust with that of the ICAD.
Leonardia cited the collective efforts of the CADAC, BADACs (Barangay Anti-Illegal Drug Abuse Council), City Health Office, City Engineer’s Office, and the Bacolod City Police Office in the fight against illegal drugs.
“We, in the City of Bacolod, have done much in suppressing the proliferation of drugs in our locality, in persuading the drug users to surrender, and in providing drug rehabilitation to those who have decided to reform their ways,” Leonardia said.
Still, the mayor acknowledged that there is still much to be done, and if Bacoleños are better equipped, Bacolod will have a better chance to succeed in its strong and committed fight against illegal drugs.
Leonardia, together with Cualoping, Getalla, Trovola, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director Elyvenson Plaza, and Assistant Secretary to the President Aurora Ignacio were present during the launching, which was attended by 355 anti-drug abuse.
Rehabinasyon is an all-encompassing-program implemented by the ICAD composed of 41 government agencies and four clusters, focusing on enforcement, justice, advocacy, and rehabilitation and reintegration.*SGG
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