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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, March 13, 2018
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‘City acting on drug problem’


The Bacolod City government under the leadership of Mayor Evelio Leonardia is doing its best and has implemented measures to address the drug problem in the city, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran said yesterday.

Familiaran was reacting to the report of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency,during the launching of the “Rehabinasyon,” at the Bacolod City Government Center, Saturday, that none of the 61 barangays of the city had been declared “drug-cleared.”

He believes that it is not only Bacolod that is affected but the entire country as well, he said.

“In fact, we have implemented measures to address the problem. However, the problem is in the barangay or with the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC),” he added.

Familiaran said the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council of local government units are very active. But the problem is the BADAC, because of fear of retaliation, perhaps against the barangay officials.

“Our problem is their participation and cooperation. The same may be the case with other LGU‘s even though they have a very active CADAC,” he said.

Familiaran said President Rodrigo Duterte has a list of all barangay officials who are drug protectors, those who are involved in illegal drugs or those who are passive or not doing anything about the problem. Out of the 350 officials, about 140 are barangay captains, he said.

He believes that the root cause is still poverty. That is why the problem is recurring, he added.

Aside from the barangay officials, the citizens are also complacent andrefuse to identify those involved in their baranagys, Familiaran added.

During the launching of “Rehabinasyon”, the Bacolod City local government officials and barangay leaders were urged to be more dedicated to the anti-illegal drugs campaign and to start clearing the 61 barangays in the city of the menace.

“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.

Leocadio Trovela, director of the National Barangay Operations Office under the DILG, said 36 barangays in Bacolod are moderately drug-affected and the 25 belong to the less seriously drug-affected classification.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Ramon Cualoping III had 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.

Leonardia said they have done much in suppressing the proliferation of drugs in the city, in persuading the drug users to surrender, and in providing drug rehabilitation to those who have decided to reform their ways.

He 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, he added.*CGS


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