PALO, Leyte — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Eastern Visayas finally has an office after almost 15 years of renting.

PDEA-8 inaugurated its new regional office on Wednesday at the government center in a land donated by the provincial government of Leyte.

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino and Bureau of Customs Commissioner and former chief of PDEA Isidro Lapeña graced the inauguration along with local government officials in Eastern Visayas headed by Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla and Southern Leyte Governor Christopherson Yap.

The new regional office will serve as “fortress of integrity and service and will also be a statement that the PDEA is here permanently fighting in curbing the seeds of illegal drug menace in Eastern Samar,” said Aquino.

Eastern Visayas has a total of 4,930 villages with 2,952 affected by illegal drug trade.

Aquino said that of the total number of affected villages 1,618 are already cleared while the rest where to buy generic viagra of the villages need to be cleared before 2022.

“I am putting this challenge to the PDEA 8 and I am positive that by 2022 all villages in the region are already drug-cleared,” Aquino said.

The increase of PDEA agent recruitment and resources, including enhancing and improving the capability of operatives, are some of the actions that the new leadership of the agency is doing to ensure that as the lead agency they can fully implement laws against illegal drug.

Following the increase of PDEA agents, they will also establish provincial offices so that they can focus properly on the anti-illegal drug operations in ground level and meet the target of the government to declare the country as drug-free by the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term in 2022.

“This is why I had directed our regional directors to talk with the local government chief executives to ask for a lot so that when the budget is released on 2019, we can immediately construct the provincial offices,” Aquino said.

All six provinces in Eastern Visayas have temporary PDEA provincial offices.

“What we are doing now is we are talking with the provincial officials and hopefully we can convince them to provide a property where we can construct our provincial offices,” PDEA Regional Director Edgar Jubay said.

The provincial government did not hesitate in donating the land to PDEA to construct their regional office due to growing problem on illegal drugs in the region said Governor Petilla. (Roel Amazona/PNA)