DAGUPAN CITY –Mayor Belen T. Fernandez vowed to solve Dagupan’s problem on illegal drugs in the same way that she fixed several problems of the city when she spoke during the observance of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking last June 26 at the People’s Astrodome here.
“I have already fixed the different problems of the city in terms of financial, health, traffic, market and livelihood, so now I’m giving my full support and focus in solving our problem on illegal drugs,” said Fernandez.
Fernandez was a national awardee in 2013 by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) that took note of her campaign against illegal drugs while still vice mayor in her city when she organized a group called “Laban Kontra Droga”.
The city mayor’s continuing tough stand against illegal drug stemmed from the report of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) that tagged two villages in Dagupan–Bonuan Binloc and Bonuan Gueset–as the only seriously affected barangays of the 99 drug affected barangays in Pangasinan today.
She assured that the city government, along with the newly organized City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (CADAC) and Dagupan Police Station and other partner agencies will be very aggressive in stopping the drug menace.
Fernandez, however, admitted that the job will not be easy considering the fact that illegal drug is a lucrative business and there were unconfirmed reports that some “influential people” might be behind it.
During the event, the mayor announced her personal contact number before hundreds of participants and told them not to hesitate to text or call her if they have any information about illegal drug users and dealers with an assurance that the informer’s identity will be made strictly confidential.
This was considered as the boldest move yet undertaken by a city executive here in order to finally weed out illegal drugs that had been besetting the city and its people ever since.
It was learned that she has also already given her contact number to some one thousand volunteers of the city whom she tapped to serve as confidential informers.
The mayor regularly conducts meetings with the (CADAC) and plans to establish strong linkage with the judiciary branch, different law enforcement agencies, drug treatment and rehabilitation center, city health office, church organizations, non-governmental organizations and the education sector to intensify the city government’s campaign against illegal drugs.
Aside from this, the barangay anti-drug abuse council (BADAC) was already organized among the city’s 31 barangays as a pre-emptive move against illegal drugs.
She thanked former Speaker Jose De Venecia Jr. and his wife Congresswoman Gina de Venecia who started the groundwork for the establishment of a drug treatment and rehab center in Bonuan Binloc here which is expected to be operational soon.