MANILA Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers on Wednesday said he has refiled a bill seeking to institute a Magna Carta of benefits for the officers and personnel of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Barbers, who chaired the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs in the 17th Congress, said he refiled the bill on behalf of all PDEA personnel who risk their lives fighting illegal drugs for the betterment of the country.
House Bill No. 73, which was filed on the very first day of the 18th Congress, seeks to promote and improve the well-being and economic welfare of PDEA personnel.
If enacted into law, the measure will provide PDEA employees with acceptable living and working conditions, better terms of employment and career opportunities through a well-rationalized career development program, with proper training and schooling to enhance their knowledge, competence, transparency, respect for human dignity, and commitment to service.
The PDEA, as the lead agency in the government's anti-drug campaign, exposes its personnel to dangerous situations, especially now that many drug syndicates are affected by the administration's all-out war against illegal drugs, Barbers said.
However, he noted that it is rather unfortunate that despite the critical role PDEA agents play, their economic well-being and professional development are afforded little attention.
In return for ensuring that our nation is safe from the dangers of illegal drugs, this bill will ensure that PDEA agents are provided sufficient compensation and accorded avenues for professionalization, the Mindanaoan lawmaker said.
With a better compensation package and health benefits, it is also hoped that government would be able to attract more PDEA recruits who will serve the country with dedication and honesty, Barbers added. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency