Pasig officials urge TODA groups to help raise awareness on illegal drugs, health, safe F2F classes

Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto and lone Congressman Roman Romulo urged local tricycle operators and drivers association (TODA) groups to help the local government raise awareness on key issues including illegal drugs, health, and safe resumption of face-to-face classes.

Sotto and Romulo delivered short messages to members of the groups during the "Lakas ng TODA, Para sa DROGA" seminar on Wednesday, July 27.

"Naniniwala ako na 'yung tulong sa TODA ay hindi lang po 'yan tulong sa operator, drayber. Ito ay tulong sa bawat mamamayang Pasigueño kasi karamihan naman ng Pasigueño ay sumasakay ng tricycle (I believe that helping our TODA is not just helping the operators and drivers. It is also helping our Pasigueños, majority of whom use tricycle services)," Sotto said.

He emphasized the need for cooperation between the local government and multi-sectoral groups to enact a "whole of society approach" to facilitate the success of projects, and programs.

In dealing with the issue of illegal drugs in the city, Sotto said they are aiming for both the reduction in the supply and demand of illegal drugs.

"Kasama ang ating PNP, hahabulin natin ang mga drug lord, drug pusher. Siguraduhin natin na walang mga pagawaan dito sa lungsod ng Pasig (We will run after the drug lords and drugs pushers with the help of the Philippine National Police. We will ensure there are no drug manufacturers in the city)," Sotto said.

"Kahit ano po ang gawin natin sa supply side, kahit anong laban natin Kontra ilegal na droga, kung may naghahanap parin ng ilegal na droga, hindi matatapos ang problema kailanman (No matter what we do for the supply side, or how we fight against illegal drugs, if there are still people who are actively looking for illegal drugs, the problem will never stop)," he added.

Sotto acknowledged that in the transportation sector, TODA was one of the sectors most affected by the pandemic, citing the limit in passengers and increase in the prices of gas and oil.

The mayor assured the groups of the local government's continued support to aid the transportation sector -- from rehabilitation of terminals and processing of licenses and franchises.

Sotto also asked the groups to help spread the right information to people regarding the health and safety protocols, as well as the contagious diseases like Covid-19 and tuberculosis (TB).

As people who regularly interact with the public, the groups were urged to encourage the public to screen and undergo consistent treatment for any disease in order to curb further disease outbreaks or vaccine hesitancy.

For example, Sotto said that citizens may avail of medical screening and treatment of TB for free from the Pasig City Health Department.

Romulo also asked the tricycle operators and drivers to help safeguard and protect children from the pandemic, especially those who will be resuming face-to-face classes in August, in preparation for the full implementation in November.

He asked the groups to help the government maintain the strict compliance of the public to the heath protocols, particularly in wearing face masks.

"Kung meron po kayo sa pamilya niyo, o sa mga pasahero niyo, sabihan niyo na po 'Ma'am, sir, tulungan na natin ang mga Grades 1 to 3 natin makabalik sa paaralan' (You can tell your family or your passengers 'Ma'am, sir, let's help our Grades 1 to 3 students safely go back to school')," he said.

The seminar was headed by the Pasig City Anti-Drug Abuse Office (PCADAO), in partnership with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Land and Transportation Office (LTO).