(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Monday, 26 February 2024) Easterlies affecting the eastern section of the country. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies / Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with Slight to Moderate seas (0.6 to 2.5 meters).

Thursday, August 15, 2019


CARCAR CITY, CEBU—Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar called for a united effort to combat illegal drugs as the Duterte Administration remains committed to ending drug proliferation in the country. “Fight against drugs is a fight of the Filipino people. After all, what we are really fighting for is a free, healthy, and secure nation for all. And if we can’t complete our mission today, remember that not a single effort shall be in vain. War against drugs is an investment for the future, for the children and the future generations,” Andanar said during the Rehabinasyon Townhall Meeting on Thursday. “We must bear in mind that illegal drugs is a tough opponent that is impossible to overcome if there is no cooperation. Our President cannot fight this alone. The government cannot win this alone,” Andanar added. The PCOO chief said that the rehabilitation of drug dependents to reintegrate them into productive members of society is a top priority in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs. “Rehabinasyon is established to tell the people that rehabilitation programs are given priority and serious attention by the government,” Andanar said during the Rehabinasyon Townhall Meeting on Thursday. Launched in mid-2017, Rehabinasyon is the government’s all-encompassing communications campaign against illegal drugs led by the PCOO. “Carrying the tagline ‘Rehabilitating the Nation, Together,’ this program is designed not only to inform the people of the actual and honest efforts of the government in terms of rehabilitation, reintegration, and advocacy, but also to reach out to the grassroots and engage the people in the community to join the administration in this venture through our town hall session,” Andanar said. The program enjoins national and local government agencies, civil society, non-profit organizations, and the international community to provide them opportunities for reformation and social integration. Anchored on the Philippine Anti-Drug Strategy of the Dangerous Drugs Board, the program brings concerned agencies around the country to show the real numbers, stories, and solutions in line with the goal of stamping out the perennial problem of illegal drugs. While it highlights the drug rehabilitation programs for drug dependents and other drug personalities to turn them into productive members of society, it also features government efforts to expedite the prosecution of all drug cases, provide legal assistance to law enforcers, and ensure the availability of public attorn
eys for the protection of individuals’ rights in instances of voluntary surrenders and warrantless arrests during anti-illegal drug operations. It also supports law enforcement agencies conducting investigations on drug syndicates, financiers, and other target personalities. The meeting also highlighted the continuous construction of drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation centers across the Philippines, community-based rehabilitation and treatment programs, and livelihood and other welfare assistance to former drug dependents. PCOO Assistant Secretary Ramon Cualoping III called these programs as President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s “legacy.” Moreover, Cualoping presented the “Real Numbers” data gathered from the Philippine National Police, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) about the government’s anti-drug campaign He said that of the134,583 anti-drug operations conducted from June 2016 to July 2019, a total of P34.75 billion worth of drugs were seized. Cualoping said that 193,086 personalities were arrested, including high-value targets such as government officials, celebrities, and other high-profile personalities. He also noted that 421,724 drug personalities surrendered to the government from the “knock and plead” law enforcement campaign, although 5,526 drug abusers died during unfortunate encounters -- far from the inaccurate 27,000 figure from various reports. “We have to take back our streets. We have to make out society strong and resilient, and it all begins with us,” Cualoping said. PDEA-7 Regional Director Wardley Getalla meanwhile reported that they have dismantled about 35 drug dens in Cebu. He also noted that the PDEA is expanding their Balay Silangan rehabilitation centers to more provinces. The program provides temporary shelters, continuing education, counseling, livelihood, and skills training programs to small-time drug offenders with the objective of reforming them into self-sufficient and law-abiding members of society. “One thing you can do to help in the battle against drugs, just maintain a drug-free family within your own home. Make sure all your members of the family are not involved in illegal drug pushing,” he said. Also among resource speakers for the town hall meeting include: Department of the Interior and Local Government Region VII Local Government Operations Officer Buddy Allain Ybañez, Department of Health Dangerous Drugs Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program Regional Coordinator Dr. Nino Caing, Carcar City Mayor Mercedita R. Apura, Carcar City Vice Mayor Nicepuro L. Apura, Carcar City Anti-Drug Abuse Council Focal Person Buddy Eloisa Cabaluna, and Carcar City Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) President Laurence King G. Quijano.