Gov. Edgar Chatto will have Boholâ€™s innovative war on drugs brought to the synchronized assemblies of the provinceâ€™s 1,109 barangays this month to ensure and sustain widest community participation.
The governor said at the meeting of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) on Tuesday that the initiatives to clear the province of illegal drugs must be understood by all for fuller support.
He was referring to the recently-launched Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation Program Without Walls (CBRPWOW) and expanding Countryside Development Program â€“ Purok Power Movement (CDP-PPM).
The CDP-PPM integrated into its existing peace and development interventions the so-called â€œprotok (prosperity tokhang)â€ to complement with the police effort long before the police anti-drug operation was suspended nationwide.
Being new for province-wide application, the CBRPWOW must be re-echoed after it was adopted by the PPOC, Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC), and Bohol mayorsâ€™ league of mayors.
The comprehensive CBRPWOW presented to the Liga ng mga Barangay (LnB) during its recent provincial congress graced no less by Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG Sec. Ismael Sueno.
With the lead coordination of the DILG field offices, Chatto instructed that the CBRPWOW must be discussed at the barangay assemblies.
DILG-Bohol head and Provincial Local Government Operations Officer Loisella Lucino heads the PPOC Secretariat.
The synchronized barangay assemblies are done nationwide twice annually and this yearâ€™s first will be on March 26, a Sunday.
PPOC members agreed it is critical that the people should be oriented with and open to the drug clearing process in the neighborhood that ultimately leads to the declaration of drug-free households.
After certain levels of monitoring and validation, stickers are to be plastered on â€œillegal drug-freeâ€ homes.
The process should be concurred during the barangay assemblies since without prior discussion, the implementation may not achieve its most desired result, according to the governor.Â
Chatto said the people themselves should know their roles and responsibilities as citizens and a community.
A â€œseal of good housekeeping,â€ the sticker is a community recognition of a drug-free home and never to be misunderstood as a shame on neighbors who may have yet to get rid of drugs. Â
Barangay CBPRWOW desks will coordinate with the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs) to observe proper mechanics.
The CBRPWOW is strengthened through a provincial ordinance enacted by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
Eliminating illegal drug has remained a tall task so that there is even now a growing lobby to bring back the Philippine National Police (PNP) to the front of the anti-drug operation.
The anti-drug operation has been taken over by the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency (PDEA), which Bohol unit recently met with its visiting counterpart from China.
The PNP has observed an upward trend in index crimes like murder and robbery since MalacaÃ±angâ€™s suspension of the police anti-drug operation.
Boholâ€™s crime volume from January to the third week of February significantly decreased, however, as against the data for the same period last year.
ASSISTS VS DRUG
After he convened the PPOC, the governor lauded the partnership of the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and provincial government on strengthening the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) group in Bohol.
The SWAT will also assist in the fight against drugs.
Known as the Bohol SWAT â€œPinagsanibâ€ Class, new 62 SWAT members from the police and military commands completed last week their two-month training.
The province funded the training and its partnership with the PNP and AFP on the project has been regarded a model in the country.
The PPOC unanimously favored the original plan of constructing the 500-bed rehabilitation center inside the Camp Rajah Sikatuna in Katipunan, Carmen instead of relocating it to Ubay.
MalacaÃ±ang lately consulted Chatto on the proposed change of location purportedly because of water and power concerns in the original area, but the governor, who chairs the PPOC, said Carmen is the ideal site.
The site in Carmen has built-in security since the center is within the military camp, which Ubay has none, and is very strategic since the town is in the core interior of the province.
Besides, the governor said, water and power supplies are concerns that can be easily addressed.
The Carmen site was already agreed based on a memorandum of agreement signed by all parties concerned during the Bohol visit of Cabinet Sec. Leoncio Evasco and Department of Health Sec. Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial on January 4.
Chatto will relay to the Palace the position taken by the PPOC.
According to the PDEA, the arrest of a Langkis, Duero barangay kagawad in a buy-bust last month could be a potential case for perpetual disqualification from any public office because of drug.
Kag. Herman Ampo Felisilda has been charged with violating Section 5 in relation to Section 28 (Criminal Liability of Government Officials and Employees) and Section 11, Article II of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The elected barangay official was a level two drug pusher and a high-value target, the PDEA said.
The Duero barrio councilorâ€™s arrest followed the six-month suspension of the chairman and all kagawads of barangay Ermita in Cebu City for refusing to cooperate with the PDEA-7 in the anti-drug operations.
Their suspension, without pay, was ordered by the Ombudsman-Visayas. (Ven rebo Arigo)