The town of Aguilar was formally declared drug-free by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Friday, becoming the latest drug-free municipality in Pangasinan .

Marvin Tabares, PDEA Deputy Regional Director and Oversight Committee Chairman, said Aguilar completed all the parameters required to be declared drug-free.
The town joined 15 other drug-free municipalities earlier declared by PDEA.

PDEA said two more towns would be declared drug-free. These are Bugallon on February 12 and San Jacinto on Feb. 13.

Senior Supt. Ronald Lee, Pangasinan police provincial director, said of the 16 barangays of Aguilar, 15 were affected by illegal drugs but all of these have already been cleared, the reason why it was finally declared drug-free.

The ceremony declaring Aguilar as drug-free was joined by Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Barbers, chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, who said the advocacy of his committee was to eradicate illegal drugs in support of President Rodrigo Duterte’s serious campaign to rid the country of the menace.

In his speech, Barbers said the campaign against illegal drugs would not be successful without the support of the community and went on to thank Pangasinan 2nd District Rep. Leopoldo, his committee vice chairman, for his valuable contributions.
Lee, along with Aguilar Mayor Eduardo Ballesteros,led the signing of the declaration certifying that the town is now drug-free.

Meanwhile, Mayor Ballesteros said that the declaration of his town as drug-free is very significant and a big accomplishment in peace and order.

The ceremony held at the Aguilar Gymnasium was also attended by Vice Mayor Roldan C. Sagles, councilors and barangay officials.

Lee said the Pangasinan PNP has recommended all the 48 towns and cities of Pangasinan to be declared drug-free but the people must also understand that PDEA Region 1 (Ilocos Region) has only a few personnel doing the evaluation of all cities and municipalities that were already cleared by the police. (Ahicam Pasion/PNA)