Benguet looks into alternative means to help reform drug suspects

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – – The provincial government is supportive of exploring ways to help and extend assistance to apprehended users and pushers and those who voluntarily surrendered in the light of the national government’s campaign to end the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country.

Governor Crescencio Pacalso expressed the provincial government’s willingness to offer alternative means for those involved in drugs who are caught or voluntarily surrendered in coordination with concerned offices.

Pacalso informed that he already called the attention of concerned provincial offices such as the Office of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development (OPSWD) to help in pushing for programs to uplift the lives of these people.

Under the OPSWD, he is looking into the remaining budget to extend financial and food assistance and offer livelihood opportunities to sustain their daily needs.

He also informed that they are closely coordinating with the Philippine National Police and other offices for the necessary services.

The provincial government would also coordinate with the Department of Agriculture on the development of cacao plantations as possible livelihood for these people. Areas in Kibungan and Bakun where marijuana plantations are rampant may be converted into cacao and coffee for vast production if further developed could serve as their One-Town-One-Product, Pacalso said.

The governor said his office is still awaiting the list of possible beneficiaries. As reported, a toll of 130 have yielded in Benguet on the PNP’s intensified crackdown on illegal drugs as ordered by President Duterte. More are expected to come out in the coming days.

Pacalso said he is happy that marijuana cultivators, drug users and pushers are listening to their officials as he enjoined other drug personalities to better give up and find other gainful employment or jobs to sustain their needs./JDP/SCA-PIA-CAR, Benguet


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