By Roi Lomotan
DUMAGUETE CITY (PIA) – A special drug court judge here suggests government agencies concerned with drug prevention to produce information materials related to drug abuse that are translated into Cebuano language for better understanding of the public.
Special drug court branch 36 Judge Joseph Elmaco made the suggestion during a recent Kapihan Sa PIA in observance of the Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Week.
“I think it is high time to review our approaches whether it is effective,” he said.
Judge Elmaco underscored that people in the barangays would be more informed on the ill-effects of drug abuse as well as the laws related to it if these are relayed in the local language.
He shared that he made a Cebuano translation of R.A. 9165 and its rules two years ago and presented it to the city government for reproduction but he didn’t get a response from them.
But now, he is open to collaborating with government agencies concerned with drug control and prevention for reproduction of his translation of the said law as well as in formulating other information materials in Cebuano language.
Aside from this, Judge Elmaco also encouraged government agencies to install billboards in barangay halls that state the general provisions of R.A. 9165 which is also translated into Cebuano.
“The point there is the massive education campaign so that the people who will be apprehended in the future cannot tell us they are not informed,” he added.
In response to this, Negros Oriental Drug Abuse and Prevention Council (NORDAPC) Action Officer Fernando Martinez said council welcomes the suggestion of Judge Elmaco.
Martinez said the council has funds for the production of information materials and they could probably first distribute information materials in Dumaguete City.
For the part of the law enforcement, Sr. Supt. Dionardo Carlos, OIC and provincial director of the Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office also welcomes the suggestion of Judge Elmaco.
He made a commitment to assign police personnel that will help distribute these materials but he also underscored the role of community stakeholders in strengthening this advocacy campaign.
Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies here gave an update on the drug situation in Negros Oriental as well in its capital Dumaguete City.
According to Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) intelligence and investigation officer Francisfil Tangeres, there are about 111 drug affected barangays in the province and majority of them are classified as moderately affected barangays.
The top two illegal drugs commonly circulating in the province is Methamphetamine hydrochloride or ‘shabu’ and followed by cannabis sativa or ‘marijuana.’
However, he reported that there are no verified reports of drug manufacturing in the province and the supply of drugs comes from Manila, Muntinlupa City, Cebu and Mindanao.
In Dumaguete City, Police Inspector Luis Lacandula of Dumaguete City police office said they were able to arrest 19 drug pushers and 13 drug users in the city from July to October this year.
Lacandula added that the total amount of confiscated shabu in the city in the said period is 330.80grams with the monetary value of P3, 903, 444. On the other hand, the total amount of confiscated marijuana in the city is 58.84grams.
He added that the city police was able to conduct 28 police operations and 10 buy bust operations in the said period this year. (mbcn/ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental/This article was first published at PIA website on November 23, 2015)