By Minka Klaudia Tiangco
A community association at Market 3 at the Navotas Fish Port Complex pledged their support to Vice President Leni Robredo as she takes on the country’s illegal drug problem as the newly-appointed co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
The Ahon Laylayan Koalisyon-Navotas welcomed Robredo’s aim to put a stop to unnecessary killings and view the illegal drug problem as a public health issue and not a law enforcement issue.
“Dahil dito, nakakita kami ng bagong pag-asa at liwanag sa pangkalahatang pagpupursigi para sugpuin ang suliranin sa ilegal na droga (Because of this, we see new hope and light in the collective endeavour to suppress the problem of illegal drugs),” the group said in a statement.
“Sa pagkakatalaga ng Ikalawang Pangulo, mas nagkaroon kami ng kumpiyansa na magiging pantay-pantay at makatarungan ang mga polisiya kaugnay ng pagpuksa sa droga (The Vice President’s appointment gave us confidence that the anti-drug policies to be established will be fair and just),” it added.
The group vowed to keep the community, church, and local government unit (LGU) updated on the state of the community, formulate possible plans for rehabilitation, and keep members of the community informed about illegal drugs and the dangers it poses.
Residents of Market 3 reportedly want to change the area’s image as a hotbed of crime and illegal drugs since this perception directly affects them in a negative way.
Robredo, in a community visit Tuesday, identified six problems in the area.
Aside from the proliferation of illegal drugs, these include the lack of public toilets, scarce water supply, lack of fire hydrants, having only a single venue in the area for events, and the blocking of a tunnel which residents use to go to the barangay hall or nearby schools.
The Vice President assured residents that she will partner with the Ahon Laylayan Koalisyon-Navotas Chapter and the LGU to solve these problems.
“Pagplanuhan natin ng maayos. Magtutulungan po tayo, dahil meron tayong mga pribilehiyo na dati nating nakakamtan na wala na sa atin ngayon dahil sa problema sa ilegal na droga (Let us plan for this well. Let us help each other, because we have advantages that we no longer receive because of the problem of illegal drugs),” she said.
“Naiintindihan natin na may pagkatakot, naiintindihan natin na may pagkabahala, pero naglalagay naman ng paraan ‘yung Navotas LGU para hindi kayo madamay (We understand that you have fears and doubts, but the Navotas LGU has policies and procedures in place to minimize the negative effect on you),” she added.