Pasay City launches anti-illegal drugs campaign

May 21, 2015 4:28 am 

MANILA, May 20 — To curb drug trafficking, manufacturing, selling and its use in Metro Manila, the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) on Wednesday launched an anti-drug abuse program to address the problem.

Pasay City Mayor Antonino Calixto, who is the chairman of RPOC, said it was high time that local government units (LGUs) should address the most pressing concerns of Metro Manila.

To start the campaign, Pasay City piloted on Wednesday the “Pasay Kontra Droga” Program, which remain a serious concern of local government units in the National Capital Region.

The program, which was launched at the Cuneta Astrodome, was attended by city government officials led by Calixto, his sister Pasay City Rep. Emi Calixto-Rubiano, members of the city council, police officials and 201 barangay chairmen.

The program is being launched under the “Kayang-Kaya kung Sama-Sama” Anti Drug Abuse Campaign of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for the documentation and replication by the 16 other cities in Metro Manila.

“A lot more has yet to be done to address the problem, the illegal drug use and substance abuse, that causes more than 70 percent of heinous crimes reported in the country,” said Calixto.

“I can not do it alone, nor the police and barangays alone. This must be a conscious and concerted effort by all sectors of the city to curb, and ultimately stop, the use of illegal drugs,” said Calixto.

As chairman of the RPOC-NCR, Calixto has committed to revitalizing the anti-drug use campaign and committed to rally the 16 mayors of Metro Manila.

"We are all stakeholders in the fight against the use of illegal drugs. We all have a part to play in this major problem that challenges our community day and night," Calixto said.

During the launch, the program was well-supported by 201 barangay chairmen and almost 3,000 barangay officials and some 3,000 elementary, high school, college students as well as youth leaders.

The campaign is also joined by 200 transport leaders and members; some 3,000 employees of the City Government; and church members.

The MMPOC earlier urged the government to deploy more anti-drug enforcement agents to curb the rampant drug pushing and its use in the NCR.

Recently, government agents seized some Php 4-billion worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as shabu, and its raw materials in producing the drugs following a raid in a suspected shabu laboratory and facility in Pampanga.

The authorities also arrested four persons during the anti-drug operation. They said the syndicate might be the same group operating in Metro Manila.

Some Php 100-million worth of shabu, cocaine and ecstasy were also seized by the National Bureau of Investigation in a raid conducted in two condominiums at the upscale Bonifacio Global City, popularly known as The Fort, in Taguig City where two Canadians and a Filipino were arrested; and the conviction of three Chinese nationals operating a shabu laboratory in Paranaque City.

Also in Bonifacio Global City, NBI agents arrested four college students for allegedly selling illegal party drugs in the area. Those arrested, three of whom were minors, were reportedly enrolled in top universities in Manila.

The MMPOC is also pushing for the establishment of one Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) field office for each Metro Manila city and municipality.

In Pasay City alone, the police department in 2014 conducted 138 anti-drug operations that led to the arrest of 208 persons and the filing of 229 cases in court. (PNA) RMA/CLTC/Charmaine A. Tadalan/CAT (OJT)

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