LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Council) passed a resolution on Monday urging officials of the province’s 1,333 villages to submit themselves to drug testing in line with Governor Amado “Pogi” Espino III’s campaign against illegal drugs.
Liga ng mga Barangay (Village League) Federation president and ex-officio Board Member Jeanne Jinky Zaplan moved for the resolution, stressing the urgent need to undertake a serious and more comprehensive program to fight illegal drugs not only in the urban areas but more so in the villages.
The Pangasinan Provincial Police Office (PPPO) earlier revealed that at least 1,074 villages or 78.74 percent of the total 1,333 villages in Pangasinan, including 31 in Dagupan City, are drug-affected.
Zaplan said village chiefs, councilmen, secretaries and treasurers play important roles in their respective localities as they are always at the forefront of development in the promotion of peace, order and security.
She said drug testing is now more necessary since village election is fast approaching.
“Considering the roles of the barangays (villages) in development as self-reliant communities and the barangay (village) officials as basic service providers, there is indeed a necessity for them to undergo drug testing as they are the living exemplar of the people,” she said.
Zaplan said implementation of drug testing program in the villages would ensure that reins of good governance in the village level will be in the hands of officials best chosen by the people and who are drug free and can serve their constituents better.
She said funds for the drug testing of village officials will be sourced out from the Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council (MADAC) or City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (CADAC) and Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC).
Gov. Espino earlier ordered regular random drug testing for all employees of the provincial government. PNA/northboundasia.com