10,000 mothers volunteer as “drug watchers” in Pampanga

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    CLARK FREEPORT – Some 10,000 housewives from all over Pampanga converged here yesterday as volunteers in a “community drug watch” program initiated by Gov. Lilia Pineda.

    “At least 10,000 mothers have joined the program,” Pineda said while waiting for Pres. Duterte who was slated to guest later yesterday afternoon in the program dubbed “Convergence of Nanay Volunteers as Community Drugwatch.”

    “Nanay” or mother has been Pineda’s moniker during elections and has become a popular reference to her.

    Traffic congestion towards this freeport was observed as early at 9 a.m. yesterday as jeeploads of drugwatch “volunteers” headed to the parade grounds where the President was expected at about 3 p.m. Thursday.

    The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) here said regional directors of all national agencies with offices in Central Luzon, mayors from all over the region, and families affected by the drug menace arrived early for the event.

    Former President now Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who reportedly extended the invitation to Duterte to attend the affair, also arrived with husband Jose Miguel Arroyo and their children Mikey and Luli for a photo opportunity with the President in the so-called White House, the official residence of the president here. The house is also referred to as Malacanang of the North which has been visited by past Philippine presidents since ex- Pres. Ramos, except Benigno Aquino.

    Pineda said that under the program, the mother-volunteers are mandated to monitor possible illegal drugs activities in their immediate community and relay related information to authorities.

    She said under the program, the Department of Health (DOH) would also be an active participant for its “referral system for community surrenderees.”

    Jeepney-loads of packed foods and bottled water were also on hand for the crowd at the parade grounds here.

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