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Caramoan town soon to be declared drug-free

NAGA CITY--- Camarines Sur’s No. 1 tourist destination, the town of Caramoan in Partido area, is soon to be declared drug-free, the second municipality in the province to get the distinction according to the Camarines Sur Police Provincial Office (CSPPO) recently.

To recall, on Nov. 25, 2019, Christian Frivaldo, the provincial director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Camarines Sur declared the municipality of Gainza as the first drug-free town in the province. The declaration coincided with the inauguration of Gainza’s Balay Silangan Reformation Center or “house of hope,” a temporary shelter intended to reform drug offenders into self-sufficient and law-abiding members of society.

Police Lt. Col. James Ronatay Jr., CSPPO spokesperson said that based on their record, Caramoan town consisting of 49 barangays will be the second town in the province to be declared drug-free.

The CSPPO is just waiting for the formal proposal of the local government of Caramoan for the establishment of Balay Silangan, which is one of the requirements of the Dangerous Drug Board (DDB) for a town to be considered drug-free, Ronatay said.

Per DDB guidelines, other requirements for drug-free towns include: presence of a functional BADAC (Barangay Anti-illegal Drug Abuse Council); non-availability of drug supply; absence of drug pushers; drug users; drug coddlers; financiers; drug shipment activity; drug laboratory and warehouse; marijuana cultivation; drug den; existence of a drug awareness campaign; and a voluntary and compulsory drug treatment and rehabilitation processing desk.

Meanwhile, CSPPO chief, Col. Roderico Roy Jr., expressed optimism that more towns in the province would be named drug-free by PDEA this year.

Roy said some local government units (LGU) are in the processes of preparing necessary documents to qualify as drug-cleared towns.

Aside from Gainza in Camarines Sur, the towns of San Vicente in Camarines Norte and Sta. Magdalena in Sorsogon were declared drug-free by the PDEA in October 2019.

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