LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – A more intensified and systematic peace and order program for Pangasinan is underway with the approval of the province’s Peace and Order Public Safety Plan that was presented during the joint 1st quarter meeting of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (POC) and Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC) recently.
Upon approval of the safety plan, the Governor Amado I. Espino III suggested that various committees be created to specifically handle different problem areas in order to systematize the plan which highlighted different areas of concerns like drug problems, high incidence of vehicular accidents, traffic woes, cyber crimes, among others.
The provincial chief executive said the need to devise a detailed plan for each committee is of utmost importance to fully focus on the strategic direction for each problem area.
As presented by DILG Provincial Director Agnes A. De Leon, the overall plan included strategies on addressing illegal drugs like strengthening functions of anti-drug abuse councils (ADACs), massive information and education campaigns (IECs) and provision of livelihood program for drug surrenderers, to name a few.
It can be recalled that the Philippine National Police (PNP) has successfully launched and implemented programs and projects like MASA MASID and Oplan Double Barrel to address issues on drugs as early as July last year being one of the main marching orders of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.
As mentioned by De Leon in her report, the provincial government for its three-year program on illegal drugs has allocated P10.5 million funds while the PNP allotted P4.32 million.
De Leon stressed that to be able to provide fresh opportunities for the thousands of drug surrenderers special projects like skills training, career coaching and job matching which are all undertaken by the Provincial Employment and Services Office (PESO) should continuously be provided.
Meanwhile, Vice Gov. Jose Ferdinand Z. Calimlim, Jr. said that the successful implementation of the peace and order program should be a shared responsibility not only of the provincial government and different line agencies but also of the local government units (LGUs).
With regards to the high incidence of vehicular accidents, the DILG provincial director stated that the need to reduce cases is among the priority focus of the POC. To ensure reduction of cases, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) will deputize all PNP stations in the province to look into the incidents, she added.
The PNP, on the other hand, vowed to continue their tasks in assuring that the province will be generally peaceful and orderly until the goal of zeroing cases on illegal drugs will be realized.
The POC and PDAC will meet on a quarterly basis but the committees to be formed will meet on a regular basis.
By Dexter A. See