PB approves creation of anti-drug office

“An all-out war against illegal drugs requires a full body operating on a regular basis.”

This was the remark of Provincial Board member Carmen Remedios Durano-Meca as she stood before her colleagues yesterday to seek approval of her ordinance, creating the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office (CPADAO).

“Creating a regular department in the Province of Cebu to address the matter of illegal drugs is warranted under the circumstances and shall be beneficial to the populace, not to mention that it is legal and within our competence and power to do so,” Meca said.

All nine PB members present in yesterday’s session approved the ordinance.

Meca said the new department will further improve the programs and projects of the province and will be mainstreaming them to crush illegal drugs.

“Just Say No” renamed recently to “Sugbo Kontra Droga” is one of the province’s anti-drug campaign programs initiated by the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Commission (CPADAC).

Meca is the executive director of the CPADAC, an interim anti-drug body of the province, tasked to formulate and implement strategies to reduce the demand of illegal substance.

Despite the creation of the CPADAO, Meca said that its frontrunner organization CPADAC would continue to exist as an advisory body of the department.

Asked about when CPADAO will hit the ground running, she said the ordinance states that it would be upon the measures’ approval.

Meca, however, clarified that the department still has to wait for the passage of the next supplemental budget from which its funding will come.

“I commend board member Meca for her courage by doing something which at some point becomes life-threatening,” PB member Griselda Sanchez said.

The PB also approved yesterday two other important ordinances, including the province’s P231.6 million supplemental budget and the measure to add two more lawyers at the Provincial Legal Office.