LEGAZPI CITY – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has declared the town of Camalig in Albay province as drug-cleared.
In an interview on Wednesday, PDEA-Albay Provincial Officer Noe Briguel said the agency, together with the Albay Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council, officially declared Camalig as the second drug-cleared municipality in the province after having complied with all the requirements.
The formal declaration was made during a ceremony here on Tuesday led by the PDEA Region 5 (Bicol) director and chairperson of the Regional Oversight Committee Edgar Juday, representatives from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine National Police – Police Regional Office in Bicol (PNP-PRO5) and the Department of Health (DOH).
“LGU (local government unit) Camalig was able to have Rehabilitation and Reformation Intervention programs wherein all the surrenderees from the 50 barangays were given interventions and at the same time all the pushers were enrolled in a Balay Silangan,” Briguel said.
He said aside from Camalig and Jovellar, the first drug-cleared town in 2019, at least four other municipalities in Albay province will soon be declared as drug-cleared.
“The towns of Malilipot, Bacacay, Libon and Tiwi can be declared soon after they comply with all documentary requirements needed,” Briguel said.
He also clarified that the declaration is not a “lifetime” achievement as it can be revoked.
“Once a municipality was declared as drug-cleared, every six months, validation was conducted by the PNP and PDEA as law enforcement agencies. If we found out that drugs are rampant again and no action was being done by the barangay anti-drug abuse council (BADAC) chairman, we will suggest it to the regional oversight committee,” Briguel said.
In a statement, Camalig Mayor Carlos Irwin G. Baldo Jr. thanked PDEA for recognizing the town’s efforts in fighting illegal drugs.
“Nagapasalamat po kami sa PDEA sa pag-deklara na drug-cleared na ang banwa. Patunay po yadi na pag ayo kooperasyon kina nagkaurusad ang gobyerno kina ang saton na mga barangay, paborable po ang nagiging resulta (We are thankful to PDEA for declaring our town drug-free. This proved that when there is cooperation and the government is helping with our barangays, the results are favorable,” the mayor said.
Baldo vowed to sustain Camalig’s drug-cleared status through intensive and continuous anti-illegal drug interventions, emphasizing the importance of maintaining vigilance and implementing proactive measures to prevent the resurgence of illegal drug-related activities in the town.
The local government also secured a high spot in the Anti-Drug Abuse Council audit last June, with a score of 90.5 percent. (PNA)