BUGALLON, Pangasinan — The town of Bugallon was declared by the Philippine Drug-Enforcement Agency (PDEA) as drug-free, in a ceremony held at the town auditorium on Monday.
The ceremony was attended by top officials of the PDEA and the provincial police office as well as provincial and municipal officials.
Bugallon is the 17th town in Pangasinan declared drug-free by PDEA and the list is continuously growing.
There are 24 barangays of the town, at least 17 of which were drug affected but are now already cleared and seven not affected.
The ceremony was attended by some 200 reformed drug users, all of whom already completed the required Community-based Rehabilitation Program.
They all signed a pledge of commitment to completely turn their backs from their old vice and vowed to cooperate with the municipal government and the police in pushing for the development as well as peace and order of the town.
Mayor Jomel Espino said the municipal government has provided livelihood for the reformed drug users after their training on how to manage their projects.
Officials said poverty pushed some of the drug users to use drugs.
Chief Inspector Norman Florentino, chief of the Police-Community Relations of the Pangasinan police, said all 48 towns and cities of Pangasinan were cleared of drugs by the police but these must yet go through stringent validation by PDEA to find out if they can already be declared drug-free.
Meanwhile, Ramon Morden, senior executive assistant of the provincial government who represented Gov. Amado Espino III, said the newly completed Provincial Reformation Center in Barangay San Vicente, Burgos is set for inauguration on Feb. 28.
The reformation center, which will be managed by the Provincial Health Office, will help rehabilitate slightly affected drug users from various towns of the province by putting them in-house training and workshop for a week.
The center is located on a two-hectare lot donated by the family of the late Burgos Mayor Demetrio Cabiles. PNA-northboundasia.com