Island provinces urged to emulate Cebu’s anti-drug strategy

Island provinces urged to emulate Cebu’s anti-drug strategy

MANILA – The chair of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs on Tuesday called on all local chief executives of island provinces in the country to adopt the inter-agency strategy of implementing stricter border controls in their respective jurisdictions.

Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers made this call as he commended Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s initiative to stop the flow of illegal drugs in the province’s 22 major seaports.

“The ‘localized drug war’ initiated by Gov. Garcia in Cebu is commendable and is worth emulating by other governors whose jurisdictions have many seaports,” Barbers said in a statement.

“Since maraming pwedeng daanan o pasukan ng shabu at iba pang illegal drugs sa bansa dahil tayo’y isang archipelago, isang magandang hakbang at halimbawa ang ginawa ng Cebu government led by Gov. Garcia (Since the country has many possible entry points for illegal drugs because we are an archipelago, the step taken by the Cebu government is a good move and a good example). Her anti-illegal drugs project is worth emulating by other local chief executives of island towns, cities and provinces in the country,” he said.

Barbers was referring to Garcia’s inter-agency project that seeks to implement and intensify stricter border control at the 22 major entry points of illegal drugs scattered across the island province of Cebu.

Cebu’s seaports are in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, Talisay, Danao, Bogo and Toledo and the towns of Cordova, Oslob, Santander, Daanbantayan and Camotes Island.

The new setup is part of the strict border control efforts of the One Cebu Inter-Agency Interdiction Task Force organized by the Cebu provincial government, the Central Visayas police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7).

Garcia said officials of the concerned government agencies have vowed to stop the entry of illegal drugs into Cebu province with stricter inspections of passengers and cargoes to be supervised by the “anti-drug offices” at the port.

The chiefs of police at the 22 seaports will head the sub-offices as commanders and a Philippine Coast Guard officer as its deputy. The sub-offices will be under the supervision of the PDEA-7.

A command center will also be set up at the Cebu capitol in Cebu City to monitor these ports with live, closed-circuit television cameras and other communication equipment. The inter-agency group will also use this setup in other peace and order concerns in the island province. (PNA)

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