DANGEROUS Drugs Board (DDB) acting chairman Paul Oaminal is asking law enforcement agencies to share in his optimism for a drug-free Cebu City in 2010.

He also asked candidates in the May elections to include the campaign against illegal drugs in their political sorties.

For updates from around the country, follow Sun.Star on Twitter

He asked the public to demand from their candidates their platform against illegal drugs, and for the latter to help in the fight.

“Ang tawo mao gyuy mangayo sa ilang mga kandidato sa ilang programa batok drugas. Ang adunay programa maoy angayang botaran nila (Voters should ask the candidates about their program against illegal drugs. They should vote for candidates with anti-illegal drugs program),” Oaminal said.

He said that for the campaign to be successful, the public should take part, particularly the ordinary citizens who refuse to act because of fear.

“Mao’ng akong challenge sa kandidato nga sa ilang kampanya iapil ang atong campaign against illegal drugs,” Oaminal said.

In Dec. 2008, Oaminal projected that Cebu City would be drug-free by this year.

He observed that time that there was already a dearth in the supply of illegal drugs, particularly shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride), and that Barangay Ermita was the “last stronghold” of the drug syndicate in the city.

The illegal drug problem in other barangays, like Duljo Fatima and Lorega San Miguel, he said then, had been effectively addressed already.

Oaminal said the police should have the same optimism to solve the problem in the city.

He said it cannot be denied that the illegal drug situation in Cebu City has not worsened but has instead lessened through the years due to the joint efforts of law enforcers and the public.

“You have to be optimistic instead of saying that dili na ma-achieve. That is why we (in the DDB) never stop in doing follow-up meetings to update ourselves about the situation,” he said.

Oaminal thanked the Cebu City Government for its programs, particularly the reactivation and reorientation of each of the barangay anti-drug abuse council, which he said greatly helped in the campaign.

City Councilor Augustus Pe, Jr., City Council committee on public order and safety chairman, said they expect to come up with another evaluation of the drug situation in each of the 80 barangays within the first quarter of this year.

Barangays are evaluated to see how many can again be considered drug-free so that the City Government can assess the illegal drug trade situation in the city.

Pe said the evaluation is done regularly and that nothing has changed so far in the number of drug-free barangays or of those affected by the problem.