The Pangasinan Police Provincial Office (PPPO) said in a forum on Tuesday that a drug-free Pangasinan is possible in December.
“There are still 20 local government units (LGUs) affected. To declare Pangasinan drug-free in its target month of December is not impossible, because only a few barangay (villages) are affected now,” PPPO Community Relations Chief Inspector Norman Florentino said.
He added that 28 of the 48 LGUs in the province have already been declared drug-free.
“It’s not enough that the people involved with drugs are out of the barangay. The police still need to find out where they move. That’s why a ‘drug-free’ declaration takes time. Once we find out where they [are moving], we would convince them to surrender.” Florentino said.
He added that for the province to be declared “drug-free,” all LGUs, including the villages, cities and municipalities, must unanimously agree that all areas of Pangasinan are “drug-free.”
Florentino said the local government is implementing an “After Care” program once the drug suspects have been rehabilitated.
As of August, 93 villages are reportedly affected by illegal drugs in Pangasinan.
A total of 1,177 villages had already been declared “drug-free,” including Santo Tomas, the only town that was not affected by illegal drugs before the anti-drug campaign started.