By ED DE LEON
LEGAZPI CITY – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Bicol regional office here is eyeing to clear the region of the illegal drug menace in two years by implementing a no nonsense anti drug abuse campaign in the region.
Retired Brig. Gen. Pedrito Magsino, PDEA Bicol regional director, said that in the next two years they will intensify their campaign against the illegal drug trade with the active participation of the five pillars of the justice system, which includes foremost the community, the police, the prosecution, the Judiciary, the penology and with other stakeholders.
Magsino pointed out that the campaign was further strengthened when local government officials were task under a memorandum circular issued on Jan. 29,2009 issued by then Department of interior and Local Government (GILG) Ronaldo V. Puno, to undertake a unified action against illegal drugs by directing mandatorily all local government units to provide in their annual budget of substantial appropriation that can adequately assist in or enhance the enforcement of RA 9165 otherwise known as an Act Instituting the comprehensive Dangerouos Drug Act
Failure to include such budget according to Magsino is a ground for the disapproval of said budget and shall subject the responsible local government officials to possible administrative charge of dereliction of duty.
It also directs all local government units from the provincial, city, municipal and barangays to activate their respective Anti drug abuse councils and initiate dialogues and symposia with school authorities and students, owners and employees of business establishments, government officials and employees and the general public.
He said PDEAs partnership with the local government officials is crucial to the attainment of a drug free Bicol in the next two year he cited as an example that in Naga City the City government headed by Mayor John Bongat has initiated the creation of a local drug abuse council as a first step towards licking the illegal drug trade in city.