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ddbNational government agencies led by Undersecretary Rommel L. Garcia, MD, of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and the local government unit of Dalaguete led by Municipal Mayor Ronald Allan G. Cesante, CPA, held a coordinative meeting pertaining to alternative livelihood on abaca and reforestation project last March 27, 2011 at the Dalaguete Municipal Legislative Hall.    ddb2Undersecretary Garcia articulated the five pillars of the DDB in their fight against drug abuse namely: demand reduction, supply reduction, civic awareness, alternative development and international cooperation. Expounding on alternative development, he reiterated that the 2.3 million-peso multi-sectoral abaca livelihood project that will be undertaken in seven pilot barangays of Dalaguete starting this June, should be done with the end-objective of considerably decreasing if not totally eradicating the marijuana planting problem within the territorial jurisdiction of the town.

Although Dalaguete is a first class municipality, it has its share of marginal upland farmers whose incomes are way below the poverty threshold, a number of whom turned to planting marijuana to augment their incomes. The local government unit of Dalaguete has thus joined hands with the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and the Fiber Industries Development Authority (FIDA) to provide alternative means of livelihood to these marginalized upland farmers, and hence, the abaca planting and livelihood project is conceptualized.

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