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City sets measures vs. Drug use, Abuse

Words | Alec Santos
Photographs | Jose Collera
ALLIES. Mayor John G. Bongat, city councilors Raoul Rosales and Nene De Asis, and City Health Officer Dr. Butch Borja listen intently to discussions by PDEA and police officials on drug-related issues.

MEASURES TO HELP ERADICATE DRUG DISTRIBUTION IN NAGA AND OFFER HELP TO FAMILIES AND VICTIMS OF DRUG USE AND ABUSE

IN A MOVE DESIGNED TO provide a holistic and comprehensive system of addressing drug abuse in Naga, the City Government reorganized the Naga City Dangerous Drug Board and the Barangay Anti- Drug Abuse Council (BADAC), as well as established the Life Improvement through Friendly Education (LIFE) counselling center.

Mayor John G. Bongat says that these measures will help eradicate drug distribution in Naga and offer help to families and victims of drug use and abuse. Housed at the Naga City Youth Center, the Drug Board is the City Government’s primary arm in implementing its antidrug abuse programs. It also sets the agenda for the rehabilitation of drug abuse victims.

The LIFE counselling center was originally conceived by Mayor Bongat during his first term as a city councilor to address the need for counselling and rehabilitation of drug users. Users can also call in their concerns with trained counsellors ready to offer advice. Recently, Mayor Bongat and the Drug Board convened a meeting of representatives from various universities and colleges in Naga to forge a partnership to volunteer counsellors.

A Memorandum of Agreement was also signed by Mayor Bongat, acting as the NCDDB Chairman, and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Regional Director Archie Grande to further strengthen the partnership between the City Government and PDEA in the fight against drug trafficking and drug abuse. Under the agreement, the City Government and the PDEA will implement joint programs and activities aimed at reducing and preventing drug use in Naga.

The City Government’s drug abuse programs have also taken root at the barangay level thru the creation of BADACs at the various barangays. To equip barangay officials with the proper knowledge and skills to handle drug-related issues in their communities, the Drug Board held a specialized training seminar with resource persons from the DILG, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the NCPO. The judiciary, the Prosecutor’s Office, Liga ng mga Barangay and the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation to name a few are active members of the Drug Board.

FULL SUPPORT. (above) City and barangay officials, as well as the PNP, represented by City Director P/S Supt. Vert Chavez pledge full support to the City Government’s anti-drug efforts thru the BADAC. (below) DILG Regional Director Blandino Maceda swears in the members of the Naga City Dangerous Drugs Board, which is led by Mayor Bongat.