LEGAZPI CITY, April 7 (PNA) -- A total of 559 barangays in the Bicol Region have drug-related problems, the latest report of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) shows.
This number, the PDEA report said, is 16.10 percent of the 8,629 barangays nationwide that have drug-related problems while the 8,629 affected villages represent 20.51 percent of the 42,062 barangays all over the country.
Former Congressman Edcel C. Lagman on Thursday said he cited these figures when he keynoted the 17th founding anniversary of the Malinao Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (MTRC) in Barangay Comun, Malinao, Albay.
Lagman founded the MTRC in 1999 with an initial appropriation of PHPhp10 million to afford drug dependents and their families easier access to rehabilitation and treatment at lower cost.
The MTRC is now headed by Dr. Ma. Theresa C. Iñigo, Chief of Hospital II.
It does not only serve the patients from the First District of Albay and the Province of Albay but also the entire Bicol Region, including some of those coming from the Visayas like Tacloban City.
The six-term Bicol lawmaker, who is vying for a comeback, vowed to champion once again the crusade against drug abuse and trafficking as well as the rehabilitation of drug dependents when he joins the 17th Congress.
Lagman made this commitment as he noted the increase in substance abuse in the First District of Albay.
Shabu, the “poor man’s cocaine” is the drug of choice in the country, he noted.
Lagman underscored that drug addiction is reversible with proper treatment and rehabilitation.
He also said that the campaign against the drug menace consists of drug prevention and rehabilitation of drug dependents.
It is for this reason that Lagman included in his 15-point legislative agenda the effective combat against drug menace and criminality.(PNA) FFC/FGS/CBD