Aguilar declared drug-free

THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) officially declared the municipality of Aguilar drug-free last Friday, February 8 and became the 16th town validated by the regional oversight committee as drug free in Pangasinan.

PDEA Deputy Director Marvin Tavares was accompanied by Congressman Ace Barbers, chair of the House committee on dangerous drugs, 2nd District Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil, DILG Region 1 Director James Fadrilan, PNP Provincial Director Ronald Lee, Philip Vera Cruz of Dangerous Drugs Board, Aguilar Mayor Eduardo Ballesteros when he issued the declaration before members of the Sangguniang Bayan, barangay officials and students during the ceremonial declaration.

Lawyer Tavares said Aguilar had accomplished the established parameters and requirements that cleared all the affected barangays and enabled the drug personalities that surrendered to completed the community-based rehabilitation program.

P/Sr. Inspector Rowell Albano, Aguilar’s chief of police, said all the 362 drug personalities from different barangays were accounted for and competed the community-based rehabilitation program with the support of the MSWD, LGU and TESDA.

Mayor Ballesteros pledged to sustain all the programs set by the PNP, the oversight commit to maintain Aguilar as a drug free community.

Bataoil reechoed his call for the support of all sectors to fight illegal drugs.

Rep. Barbers said that as chairman of the committee on dangerous drugs, he is promoting the “Ang maunlad na republika ay galit sa droga” advocacy in all his visit to the different areas.

Meanwhile, Lee said that all barangays, towns and cities have already been cleared in the provincial police’s level while only 6% have yet to be cleared on PDEA’s level.

Bugallon, San Jacinto and Lingayen are scheduled for the ceremonial declaration starting Monday, February 12. (Nora Dominguez)