Monday, February 28, 2011

No Pangasinense is drug courier – PDEA

By Danny O Sagun

DAGUPAN CITY– Nobody from Pangasinan is now facing drug trafficking case in other countries, according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

But there was one victim from the province of an international drug syndicate in early 2008 who is now cooperating with the agency in the anti-drug courier campaign, said agent Charlton Carame during the KBP Forum at the Philippine Information Agency Thursday.

The victim, a woman, was befriended by a Nigerian who was member of the West African drug syndicate who promised her financial benefits as well as marriage. “Nakalaya sya, pero andoon pa rin ang trauma. Noong 2009 nagpunta sya sa atin para tumulong sa kampanya natin,” he said. She was a victim of fly-by-night job recruiters.

Supt. Geraldo Roxas, who heads the Pangasinan police community relations unit, also told the forum that the provincial anti-drug task force does not have in its list any Pangasinense who is a suspected international drug courier.

On the local front, Carame said PDEA agents have coordinated with the police chiefs of this city and Urdaneta City to map out plans to contain the drug problem. The two urban areas are said to be the major drop-off points for pushing shabu in the province. “May mga plano na kami dyan sa sinasabing problematic areas,” he said.

He said he was not discounting the possibility of a shabu laboratory operating in the province but so far earlier reports about their existence turned out to be negative. He said a laboratory may be kitchen type or the processing is done in a ship. “Doon na niluluto pero ang drying sa ibang lugar.”

Under Executive Order No. 279, PDEA and other concerned agencies like the Department of Foreign Affairs are grouped in task force to combat the growing drug mule problem.

Statistics show that in 1993, there were only two drug courier cases. By January this year, the number rose to 689 with 431 females, or 63 percent, and 258, males, or 37 percent. In China, 79 are facing death penalty, six without reprieve and the rest, with two-year reprieve. (PIA Pangasinan/danny)

Dagupan’s Patogkawen River has high fecal coliform level
DAGUPAN CITY – Water samples taken from Patogkawen River exceeded the maximum limit of 5,000 Most Probable Number (MPN) of total and fecal coliform per 100 ml, and did not pass the standard for Class C type of water, fishery water for the propagation and growth of fish and other aquatic resources.
This was the result of the fish health diagnostic microbiology laboratory report conducted by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – National Integrated Fisheries Technology Development Center (BFAR-NIFTDC) along the river last February 8.
The test was upon the request of the city government in line with Mayor Benjamin S. Lim’s commitment to protect the water quality of surface and ground water within the city’s jurisdiction.
Lim recently created the Sinocalan/Dagupan River Water Quality (WQ) Task Force in compliance with the mandate of Republic Act 9275, otherwise known as the Clean Water Act of 2004, which provides that the State shall pursue a policy of economic growth in a manner consistent with the protection, preservation and revival of the quality of the country’s fresh, brackish and marine waters.
Being the recipient and catch basin of the upstream rivers, Lim intends to reduce pollution of the Sinocalan/Dagupan River system and tributaries as strategy to protect the health of communities, sustain the use of the river as a aquaculture industry, protect the river based ecosystem and comply with the provisions of the Clean Water Act.
It has been observed by the technicians of BFAR-NIFTDC that the water along Patogcawen River smells like a rotten egg with either black sediment or greyish black and not too smelly sediment.
The report came after a team tasked by Lim conducted a river inspection and found out that a number of informal settlers are in the river banks and close to the Nepo Mall wall. Mangrove trees have been cut intentionally by the residents. The team also discovered a sewerage canal flowing through the river.
A blue print issued by the Department of Public Works and Highways showed that the drainage wastewater disposal system of Region 1 Medical Center was connected to the Arellano Street drainage system passing through Arellano Creek going to Patogkawen River.
Lim requested a dialogue with the administrative officers of R1MC and ordered City Agriculturist Oficer Emma Molina to look into the possibility that other hospitals near any river system are doing the same.

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