THE Provincial Government of Negros Occidental may now release the P3.6-million fund allocated for the implementation of the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Program.

The Provincial Board, during its regular session on Wednesday, authorized Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. to sign the agreement with the Negros Occidental Drug Rehabilitation Foundation Inc. (NODRFI).

The anti-drug abuse program funding will be taken from the Provincial Government’s third supplemental budget request.

Sixth District Board Member Helen Zafra, chairman of SP committee on health and social services, said that upon giving the governor the authority to sign the agreement, “the province can then release the fund.”

The P3.625 million will be sourced from the P5-million Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (Padac) fund, which forms part of the P90.57 million Supplemental Budget No. 3 approved last July 27.

The fund is intended for wellness camp, P1.5 million; community-based drug rehabilitation, P725,000; Philippine National Police’s support to law enforcement, including drug bust and surveillance operations, P500,000; Provincial Anti-Drugs Summit, P500,000; and improvement of camp facilities at the 303rd Infantry Brigade in Murcia, P400,000.

“Most of these projects have already been implemented since last year,” Zafra said, adding that SP approval of the governor’s endorsement “is just a procedure for the province to release the fund.”

Meanwhile, the Provincial Board also gave Marañon the authority to sign the agreement with the Department of Health for the implementation of the National Anti-Drug Plan of Action.

The Provincial Government will provide P1.1 million in financial assistance for the implementation of the said program in the province.