BONTOC, Mountain Province – Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. commended the barangay officials in the province’s 145 barangays for their non-involvement in illegal drugs thus sustaining the identity of Mountain Province as one of the drug-free provinces nationwide.
Lacwasan said that the non-inclusion of barangay officials from the province in the narco-list of President Rodrigo R. Duterte and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency is a clear indication local officials and the people do not tolerate illegal drugs in the province thus concerned sectors rallied behind the campaign of the present administration against the use of, manufacture and trade in prohibited drugs even in the remotest village of the country.
“We are grateful that no barangay official from the province was included in the initial narco-list released by the PDEA and we remain optimistic that there will be no barangay official from Mountain Province who will be included in any narco-list,” Lacwasan stressed.
The governor claimed the sustained anti-drug campaign in the province could be attributed to multi-stakeholders of the community, particularly the Barangay Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs), the Municipal Anti-Drug Councils (MADAC) and the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (PADAC), as well as the religious, academe, civil society organizations, tribal elders and the people who individually and collectively worked to stamp out the illegal drugs in their places.
According to him, the massive information education campaign among various sectors on the serious negative effects of illegal drugs, especially among the children and youth, are impacting the minds of the people thus they join the efforts of government agencies, local governments and the private sector in preventing the entry of illegal drugs in their communities.
Last year, Mountain Province was one of the five Cordillera provinces that was declared by the Police Regional Office (PRO) as one of the region’s drug-free provinces after the evaluation and validation by various law enforcement agencies following President Duterte’s aggressive anti-illegal drug campaign since he assumed the presidency on June 30, 2016.
Lacwasan urged concerned sectors to sustain the gains of the government’s anti-drug campaign in their places to keep the province drug-free and spare the present and future generations from the serious negative effects of the use prohibited drugs that may be sneaked into their villages, thus, vigilance among the people is a primordial consideration.
He also congratulated the drug surrenderers in the different barangays for their willingness to shape up and embrace the rehabilitation programs and for their refusal to go back to their prohibited vices, saying, that they must start thinking of the brighter future ahead if they opt to become productive citizens of their communities by undergoing the required skills training or pursuing a higher level of education that will help them in having gainful employment in the future.