SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/16 July) — Surigao del Norte Governor Sol Matugas declared she is serious in stopping the proliferation of illegal drugs in the province.
In a recent holding of the “Kapihan sa Kapitolyo” at the Provincial Convention Center here, Matugas said she meant business in stopping the drug menace and that she will work closely with the enforcement agencies and the community.
“I have it but I cannot solve this alone without the close coordination of the concerned agencies and the cooperation of the community,” Matugas replied when asked if she has the political will to end the problem even if the industry is apparently being run by syndicates
“This drug menace is a universal concern, an age-old problem and this has got even into the schools,” she observed.
She proposed the conduct of random drug tests in schools by the Department of Education as one of the preventive measures.
She also said prosecution should be strengthened to ensure that suspects would be brought to justice.
Matugas said she will hold a briefing and dialogue with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency personnel and make an action plan involving all concerned government agencies and the community.
She told reporters she will also seek help from the police through the new provincial director Supt. Ruben Delos Santos.
In the same forum, Ruben Delos Santos informed the governor that he was still in the process of formulating a plan in coordination with the PDEA and was also reviewing the operational plans of the former provincial director against illegal drugs.
“The PNP is very serious in solving this problem and we are extending our efforts to the concerned agency which is the PDEA,” Santos said.
Surigao del Norte ranks number one in the Caraga Region in terms of cases involving illegal drugs.
Aside from Surigao del Norte, the region comprises the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur. (Roel Catoto/MindaNews)