Romblon shares best practices in eradicating drug problem

ODIONGAN, Romblon -- The community's continued involvement and cooperation, as common as it sounds, worked efficiently in helping Romblon eradicate the proliferation and entry of illegal drugs in the province, Governor Eduardo Firmalo said Tuesday.

In an interview with reporters before the MIMAROPA 2017 Fest on Wednesday, Firmalo said Romblon was named the second drug-free province in the Philippines a few weeks ago.

"The thing is, the hard work has just begun. We're into second base (and what we do) is monitoring, maintaining, and assisting the constituents who are victimized by drugs," he said.

"Since we're not so many in the province, there are around 1,000 people who are into drugs and we try to monitor them closely one by one," he added.

He said the local government continues to work with the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the Philippine Army, and the communities who assist by tipping off the police.

Firmalo also said the province looks after former drug users through rehabilitation by psychiatrists in municipal health centers.

"It's like I am a member of my family habituated with drugs, so the PNP and the health centers will continuously monitor them," he said.

The governor added the method proved effective as mayors of each municipality also required former users to report at their office four times a week, "so there's no more energy for vices."

PDEA recently declared Romblon as the second drug-cleared province, following Batanes in Luzon, after it met requirements for the validation and declaration of its status amid the administration's campaign against illegal drugs.

Source: Philippine News Agency