The town of Batuan is among only three municipalities in Bohol that have been declared drug-free by their respective anti-drug abuse councils, and its local government intends to maintain that distinction.
Mayor Antonino Jumawid told DYRD Balita that the town’s local government unit (LGU) created the “Drug-free Batuan Action Team” to assist law enforcers in keeping narcotics activities out of the municipality.
The task force is comprised of barangay health workers, tanods or watchmen, chairmen and councilors who will conduct and facilitate monitoring operations down to the purok level, said Jumawid.
Village chiefs or barangay captains in coordination with the police will be overseeing the monitoring activities, he added.
According to Jumawid, the action team was also tasked to carry out an information drive on the ill effects of illegal drugs.
The group’s establishment was an addition to the town’s current reward system for informants who relay reports on illegal drug activities.
Tipsters who convey credible information on narcotics trade and use will be given cellphone load credits, said Jumawid.
In accordance with the anti-illegal drugs campaign, the LGU also enforced strict prohibition of the game Cara y Cruz, locally known as hantak.
The opening of a fair or carnival during fiestas was also banned, said Jumawid.
The mayor explained that both the game and fairs draw large crowds which, he said, create an avenue for illegal drug activities.
Batuan was declared drug-free by its Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council earlier this year.
Based on a Bohol police report, only Dimiao, Sevilla and Batuan have been cleared of illegal drug activities as indicated by an assessment approved by their MADACs’ chairmen. (R. Tutas)