Illegal drugs top concern for Cebuanos

Illegal drug trade is considered as the top human induced risk to the Cebuano community.

Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) Head Baltazar Tribunalo said this is what he gathered from the local officials in the province.

Tribunalo reported this concern during the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse (CPADAC) executive committee meeting last July 10.

He said 97 percent of the local government units (LGUs) that he consulted were as concerned on illegal drugs in their locality as with natural hazards.

With the growing concern against illegal drugs, CPADAC is also grappling with low conviction rate in drug cases.

CPADAC Executive Director Joey Herera said they are now trying to address this problem. He said section 21 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Acts of 2002 is the most abused requisites of the law that led to dismissal of estimated 90 percent of drug cases.

Former Undersecretary of Dangerous Drugs Board Atty. Clarence Paul Oaminal, who was invited during the meeting, said this happens nationwide.

The provision requires the signature of barangay officials and the media as witnesses in the inventory of drugs seized during operations.

He said they are afraid to affix their signatures due to the belief that they are made witnesses to the raid.

Ato nang i-address during the Barangay Assembly (We will take that up during the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas Assembly),” Herrera said.

The barangay officials’ assembly will be on July 16-18 at the Waterfront Hotel.

Governor Hilario P. Davide is scheduled to sign an executive order to enjoin the LGUs to support the implementation of the Capitol’s anti-drug program during the assembly.

Dubbed as Just Say No, the program will be launched during the assembly as well. It aims to bring together local government officials, law enforcement agencies, parents, schools, youth, business, civic groups, local media, and health professionals to reduce drug abuse in a comprehensive approach.

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Incorporated (RAFI) will be assisting the Capitol in this program.