CATHOLIC priests in Negros Oriental are open to help the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Negros Island Region (PDEA-NIR) in their campaign against illegal drugs.

Lawyer Roselyn Borja, officer-in-charge of PDEA-NIR, told SunStar Bacolod Tuesday that she met with 80 priests from different parishes in the province in a gathering organized by Bishop Julito Cortes of the Diocese of Dumaguete City and Dr. Ben Eric Lozada, president of Dumaguete Clergy.

Borja said she presented to them the drug situation in the Philippines and solicited their involvement in the current political realities and challenges that the country is facing.

She added that the priests signified to help the PDEA as they have already initiated community-based rehabilitation at Barangay Agan-an in Sibulan town through farming and acupuncture.

They tapped non-government organizations to help them in their cause and to coordinate with the PDEA in addressing the drug problem, Borja added.

“We both believe that empowering the community by instilling values in children and close family ties can address the drug problem in the country,” she said.

Borja added that the church falls under the civic awareness and response pillar of the national anti-drug plan of action.

She said the PDEA-NIR also planning to tap the clergy in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City to discuss the same objective.