The provincial government of Pampanga, in its mission to weed out pushers, has urged school officials, teachers and parents to help rid the communities of illegal drugs.
Gov. Lilia Pineda and Vice Gov. Dennis “Delta” Pineda made the call on Sept. 21 when they met with some 1,084 public school principals, parents-teachers association presidents, mobile teachers and alternative learning system coordinators in the province.
Gov. Pineda and the vice governor, as head of the anti-illegal drugs campaign Dalan ning Pamagbayu (Road to Change), have mobilized the education sector on Wednesday to help rid the province of the drug menace.
Citing several incidents that had happened in barangays, Gov. Pineda told teachers that the use and trade of illegal drugs have bred crimes such as killings, rapes and theft.
“Under the influence of illegal drugs, users and pushers do not distinguish whether you are a family member or not. So your teachers should be able to see the first sign of drug dependence among your students and report them,” the governor said in Filipino.
She said an important component of economic growth is having peaceful and orderly communities which is why the provincial and local governments and the private sector have joined hands to make the anti-illegal drugs campaign of President Duterte.
“Pampanga is very vigilant against the proliferation of illegal drugs. Our leaders and police have worked for the surrender of more than 10,000 users and pushers. Our authorities have quickly detected an underground shabu laboratory in Magalang four months after it was put up there by Chinese suspects,” she told her audience at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center here.
Vice Governor Pineda immediately sounded off the need for help.
“Your participation is very important. You can help by pushing your barangay leaders to do their job and by helping us identify pushers. Efforts to protect the youth from illegal drugs would go to naught if pushers continue to be present in our villages,” he said.
School principals are members of Barangay Anti-Drugs Abuse Councils, which the provincial government reactivated last August in 505 barangays.
Vice Governor Pineda said the provincial government is finalizing a sports program that aims to help the youth avoid illegal drugs. Initially, this consists of training coaches and holding inter-school basketball tournaments among high school and college students.
Governor Pineda assured that as the education sector does it part in the anti-illegal drugs campaign, health services and educational scholarships would continue to be accessible especially to public school teachers.