LGUs asked to fully implement anti-drug program

Michael Vencynth H. Braga/ATO (The Freeman) - February 10, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Commission (CPADAC) hopes to get the full participation of local government units in the province in its campaign against illegal drugs through the “Just Say No” program.

CPADAC executive director Joey Herrera said they will ensure that all the towns and component cities will be implementing the program this year.

He noted though that only a few of the 51 towns and cities in the province were not included in last year’s evaluation for the “Just Say No” program, which means that only a few LGUs have not implemented the program.

Herrera said LGUs that have not implemented the program may have encountered conflict in schedules or time constraints.   In Toledo City, for example, the program was only presented barely two months before the evaluation, he said.

“It would be unfair man pod sa Toledo (City)… We will have to make more effort in presenting the program,” he told reporters.

In November last year, a suspected “drug lord” was shot and killed in a buy-bust operation in Barangay Tubod, Toledo City.

 A certain Wilson Villanueva allegedly pulled out an Ingram machine gun when he was placed under arrest, prompting the police to open fire.

Authorities seized four large packs and a medium pack of suspected shabu with an estimated street value of P271,000 during the operation.

A month after, four persons were arrested by the police in two separate buy-bust operations in Sitio Baybay 1, Barangay Poblacion, also in the same city. The operations also yielded at least six packs of shabu.

Herrera further said the evaluation team for the “Just Say No” program will be fielded starting next week in different towns and cities.

“We will have two rounds of evaluation this year wherein amo pod sila nga i-guide nga mao ni ang criteria,” he added.

Under the “Just Say No Program”  LGUs are evaluated based on the organization of the local anti-drug body, formulation of legislations relating to drugs, family and community involvement, and efforts taken to achieve a drug-free community, such as law enforcement.

It is patterned after the “Our Sustainable Cebu Program” which recognizes well-performing local government units in the crusade against illegal drugs by giving cash rewards and incentives.

The program also requires LGUs to come up with their own action plans that address drug problems.

Herrera earlier said that LGUs need to improve more on the implementation of the program, based on their assessment last year, adding that they were weak in the demand reduction effort such as awareness campaign.

In November last year, CPADAC recognized the top performing city drug abuse council, municipal drug abuse council, barangay drug abuse council, municipal police station and city police station.

The municipal anti-drug abuse council of Danao City and Liloan town emerged as the top performers in the city and municipal categories, respectively. Danao City Police Station was also named as the best performing city police station. — (FREEMAN)

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