OPPOSITION councilor and mayoralty aspirant Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin, Jr. on Monday, April 8, outlined in detail his plans to make Angeles City a “drug-cleared” city.
According to Lazatin, 70 percent of crime could be attributed to the use of illegal drugs and to ensure the safety of Angeleños from criminality, his administration will focus on efforts towards clearing Angeles City from illegal drugs.
Lazatin said that the city government’s intelligence fund will be directed towards funding programs related to the eradication of drug use in the city.
He added that he will also strengthen the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (Badac) throughout the city’s 33 barangays so that these councils could better serve their function, in accordance with the Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 3 Series of 2017, which mandates strengthening the implementation of barangay drug-clearing programs.
“I believe that eradicating the use of drugs is a community-based effort and these councils will work closely with the different sectors of society, including academic institutions, religious groups, NGOs, and other civil society organizations in carrying out their duties,” said Lazatin.
Under Lazatin's administration, the city government will spearhead the creation of Balay Silangan Reformation Center, a community-based reformation center for illegal drug offenders, in partnership with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
The Angeles City Government will also provide an office and assistance to PDEA to help the city achieve a “drug-cleared” status.
In addition, Lazatin said that the city government will establish a partnership with the Magalang Rehabilitation Center and fund the rehabilitation of former drug users.
Following their successful rehabilitation, the city will also provide alternative livelihood trainings and opportunities to former drug users. Lazatin also said that his administration will focus on implementing a unified drug advocacy program for the youth, which involves mobilizing officials of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) to be anti-drug advocates for the youth.
Ensuring that Angeles becomes a “drug-cleared” city is part of Lazatin’s six-point agenda, which includes promoting access to better public health, improved solid waste management, youth and sports development, education, and infrastructure.