by: Rodrigo S. Victoria

NAVAL, Biliran (PIA) – The provincial anti-drug abuse council (PADAC) in Biliran province was revitalized recently with the selection of new council members.

The Biliran PADAC was formally revitalized on September 16, 2014 composed of the Biliran Governor Gerardo J. Espina, Jr. as chairman; PSSupt. Feliz Alberca Diloy now replaced by PSSupt Lito Turalba Bigoy, provincial director of the Biliran Police Provincial Office (BPPO) as vice-chairman and its members as follows: Marilyn Saboy, provincial director of DILG; Dr.Pedro Escobarte, division superintendent of DepEd; Prosecutor Gary Cruz; Dr. Edgar Veloso, provincial health officer; Flordeliza Trani, head of the provincial social welfare and development office; Flordelis Jackson, information center manager of PIA; Atty.Gicela Thea Zamora, NGO representative, Fr. Kenneth Pius Henricks, church representative and Alfredo Delos Santos, OIC provincial probation and parole officer of the provincial Parole and Probation Administration (PPA).

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Based on a DILG circular, the PADAC serves as a focal point through which various organization and individuals work together cooperatively in planning, implementation of programs on drug abuse prevention; provides for an effective mechanism for coordination of existing services and programs and those which might be developed in the immediate future; provides a mechanism to obtain funds, volunteer facilities and technical expertise; conduct information and education campaign on the ill-effects of illegal drugs, monitor and report to proper authorities drug-pushers and drug-users in the locality; and submit monthly monitoring report.

Initial steps proposed by the Biliran PADAC include the provision of financial support to anti-illegal drug related operations that will be conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) or to operations conducted jointly with the operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in their respective locality.

Another step is to monitor the progress of each illegal drug-related cases filed in various courts in the province of Biliran to expedite speedy resolution and to request the executive judge a special day solely for the trial of illegal drugs cases lodged in the different branches of municipal courts and the regional courts.

The Biliran PADAC also approved in form a special committee that will monitor illegal drugs-related cases in court agreed to be headed by the provincial director of the Parole and Probation Office in Biliran province.

The anti-drug abuse council in Biliran province also proposed to seek the help of the church to include in the homily during masses in the different parishes in the diocese of Naval where a letter will be sent to Bishop Filomeno G. Bactol, D.D., of the diocese of Naval the prevailing situation of drug abuse in the province of Biliran.

Other steps include the conduct of unannounced random drug tests to the members of PNP-Biliran and to seek the support of the community by reporting to the concerned police authorities any suspected individuals allegedly involved in the illegal drugs trade in the province of Biliran. (PIA 8 Biliran)

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