THE town of Natividad in the foothills of the Caraballo mountain range is the seventh town in Pangasinan officially declared drug-free by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
The Provincial and Regional Oversight Committee determined that Natividad, with 16 barangays and 100 confessed drug users, has completed all the requirements to become a drug-free municipality.
The people of Natividad, led by its Mayor Cocoy Rafael, hailed the declaration during a ceremony at the Natividad town hall on September 29.
Natividad now joins Agno, Alaminos City, Bani, Dasol, Laoac and San Nicolas as among the drug-free towns in Pangasinan.
The town of Santo Tomas was certified by PDEA as drug unaffected.
PDEA Provincial Officer Dexter Asayco said the municipalities of Burgos and Anda are set to be declared as drug-free next week.
Thirty-five more towns in Pangasinan are considered by the PPPO as drug-free but have yet to get official validation from PDEA.
The PPPO earlier targeted to make all of Pangasinan to be drug-free by December this year.
Sixth district Board Member Noel Bince represented Governor Amado Espino III during the ceremony, which was also attended by officials of PDEA, Department of Interior and Local Government, and Pangasinan Police Provincial Office. (PNA)