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27 barangays in Zambo del Sur declared ‘drug cleared’

RAMON MAGSAYSAY, Zamboanga del Sur (PIA)  – The intensified drug clearing program in the municipality of Ramon Magsaysay has resulted in the declaration of 27 barangays as “drug cleared”.

This was recently announced by Ramon Magsaysay Mayor Margie Mahon during the ‘Kapehan sa Distrito Dos with Local Chief Executives’ of the Department of Interior and Local Government.

Machon said they empowered the Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (MADACs) to take the lead in the implementation of preventive programs and awareness initiatives to inform residents, especially the youth, about the dangers of drug abuse. 

Working hand in hand with barangay anti-drug abuse councils (BADAC), the municipality formulated a Peace Order and Public Safety (POPS) Plan that served as a blueprint into suppressing lawlessness and threats to peace and order in the locality. 

The municipality has consistently excelled in functionality audits for both the Peace and Order Council (POC) and ADAC, achieving a highly functional rating since 2016. These outstanding audit performances contributed to the qualification of the municipality for the Seal of Good Local Governance award, which they successfully received in previous years.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) - Zamboanga del Sur conducts the debut episode of their 'Kapehan sa Distrito Dos with Local Chief Executives' on October 20, 2023.

Furthermore, the local government has launched a drug-free workplace program in partnership with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). This initiative is designed to create and maintain a workplace environment free from illegal drug abuse. The LGU has also enforced random drug testing for its employees to ensure efficient implementation.

The MADAC’s exemplary practices include the establishment of the Ministers Association of Ramon Magsaysay (MARM), a group of pastors and religious leaders from various backgrounds who conduct spiritual interventions and moral recovery sessions for Persons Who Use Drugs (PWUDs).

One of the municipality's remarkable accomplishments is the launch of the Balay Silangan program. This reformation initiative involves constructing temporary shelters for drug offenders, with the goal of rehabilitating them into self-sufficient and law-abiding members of society. 

Reynaldo Alinsunurin, one of the PWUDs enrolled in the Balay Silangan Program, expressed his gratitude for the initiative. “Ako nag-awhag sa mga kauban nako na PWUDs nga unta muapil sila ani na program kay dako kaayo nig tabang sa atong lungsod. Nagpasalamat ko sa LGU, ilabina sa atong mayor (I encourage my fellow PWUDs to participate in this program because it is a great help to our town. I thank the LGU, especially our mayor),” he said.

Machon stressed the importance of collective responsibility in the fight against illegal drugs, emphasizing that it affects families, children, youth, and the entire community. She noted that all drug users who have undergone the Balay Silangan program have successfully graduated and been enrolled in the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) during the intervention process.

Machon underscores the shared success and collective effort of the community. "Kinahanglanan gayud ang mga tawo naa ang pagtinabangay. Dili na namo gi-angkon nga among achievement but achievement sa tanan ilabina sa mga nitabang (People need to work together. We do not claim that it is our achievement, but the achievement of everyone, especially those who helped)," she said.

Ramon Magsaysay has successfully achieved the status of a drug-cleared municipality, as certified by the Regional Oversight Committee on Barangay Drug Clearing (ROCBDC) in April 2023, in accordance with the Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 4, series of 2021. It is a proof of the municipality’s dedication to combating illegal drug use and its associated challenges. (APG/RVC//HTB/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur/with photos from LGU Ramon Magsaysay)

About the Author

Harvy Bangayan

Information Officer

Region 9

Harvy T. Bangayan earned his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science at the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) and is now pursuing his Master's degree in Public Administration at the same institution. A music lover, he now writes news in Zamboanga del Sur and manages the PIA Zamboanga del Sur Facebook page.

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