Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Presidential Commission for Urban Poor launches 'Urban Poor Kontra Droga' in Albay
By Connie B. Destura

DARAGA, Albay, Jan. 9 (PNA) -- More than 200 barangay officials, urban poor organizations and villagers from various municipalities in Albay gathered here on Monday for the launch of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP)’s campaign “Urban Poor Kontra Droga” that seeks to involve various members of the community in the fight against the drug scourge.

“PCUP aims to gather all urban poor organizations in the country so they could make tangible projects or plans that will help the community in fighting (illegal) drugs,” said Vincent Eugenio, chief of staff of PCUP, during the launch held at Arcilla Hall, Daraga campus of the Bicol University.

He said the launch, which was held in partnership with Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe, is an initiative of the government so community members, such as the youth, barangay officials and children, could be involved in the policy formulation and implementation of government programs.

“Let the people be involved in making a drug-free society,” said Eugenio.

He said the government will continue to launch "Urban Poor Kontra Droga" in different localities in cooperation with the Philippine National Police (PNP), Dangerous Drugs Board and other government agencies.

Eugenio said that by encouraging various people’s organizations to join the campaign, the present administration wants to show its “anti-drug campaign is not anti-poor.”

He said the campaign gives community members the chance to join the fight against the drug menace “in their own little way.”

Eugenio added that the initiative is reaching out to the urban poor who are the most affected in drug-related crimes.

Meanwhile, Chief Supt. Melvin Ramon Buenafe, director of the Police Regional Office (PRO) in Bicol, who represented PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa in the launch, noted the success of "Oplan Tokhang" in the Bicol region and the other accomplishments of the PNP in the war against drugs.

He cited the “commendation award” given to PRO5 by the PNP chief after it obtained the highest performance rating in the nationwide implementation of Double Barrel Alpha, the government’s intensified campaign against illegal drugs, from Nov. 26 to Dec. 7.

Buenafe said PRO5 has made it to the top again because of the concerted efforts of all units in the field.

In the afternoon, participants to the launch attended a seminar that gave basic information on illegal drugs and substance abuse.

Atty. Alex Nepomuceno, dean of College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, Bicol University, said the academe supports the government’s drug campaign as it will result to “fast development and social transformation.”

He said collective effort is needed to solve problems in society. (PNA) LAP/GVR/CBD