PDEA update: 5,324 barangays drug-free

Good news from the government’s unrelenting campaign against illegal drugs.

The war on illegal drugs has been one of the flagship projects of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte since he started last 2016. The policy have been controversial locally and as well as internationally and continues to be the biggest issue thrown at the President.

For all that has been reported whether authentic or fake news, it has its greater advantages for the Filipinos at large. 

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has recently reported that 5,324 out of 42,036 or 12.6 percent barangays in the country have been cleared of drugs in line with the government’s ongoing brutal war on illegal drugs.

PDEA head Director General Aaron Aquino, said the report covers the period from July 2016 to December 2017.

PDEA said for 2018, the agency targets to clear 7,328 barangays from illegal drugs, or a projected average of 617 barangays per month.

“PDEA has committed itself to clear the remaining 24,424 drug-affected barangays nationwide by 2022. These barangays represent 58.10 percent out of 42,036 barangays in the country that are still plagued by the drug menace,” he said.

“PDEA is setting the bar high. We intend to clear an average of 6,000 drug-affected barangays every year for the next four years. If we can sustain the pace, we can rid the country’s drug problem by 2022 and maintain the drug-free status,” PDEA head Aquino said.

Of the 24,424 drug-affected barangays, 15,290 are classified as slightly affected, 9,089 are moderately affected, while 45 are seriously affected.

Barangays are considered slightly affected if there is a reported presence of drug user(s); moderately affected if there is a reported presence of drug pusher/s and/or user/s; and seriously affected if there is a reported presence of any of the following: clandestine drug laboratory, warehouse, marijuana plantation, and drug den/”tiangge”, drug trafficking or smuggling activities, and drug personalities such as users, pushers, financiers, protectors, cultivators, and manufacturers.  

The National Capital Region (NCR)  has the highest rate of barangay drug-affectation with 95.37 percent, followed by Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) at 93.47 percent, Region 7 (Central Visayas) at 88.78 percent, Region 3 (Central Luzon) at 84.01 percent, and Region 8 (Caraga) at 82.38 percent. The regions least affected by illegal drugs are Region 5 (Bicol) at 16.59 percent, and the Cordillera Administrative Region at 0.68 percent.
“PDEA is faced with many challenges. Foremost is thousands of barangays have yet to activate its Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) while almost the same rate of local government units have inactive municipal and local anti-drug abuse councils," Aquino added.

The multi governmental approach addressing the problem with illegal drugs has been implemented, PDEA has tapped the Philippine National Police, local government units, and the social welfare offices.

“We are happy that the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), particularly the Office of Assistant Secretary Rico Judge Echiverri, is in constant cooperation with us and committed that they will help in the activation of all BADACs and ADACs in the whole country,” Aquino said.

A barangay to be declared as drug free must be completely free from illegal drug activities, the committee must convene and validate the non-availability of drug supply in the area and the absence of drug transit activity, clandestine drug laboratory and chemical warehouse, marijuana cultivation site, drug den, drug pusher and user.

“Once cleared, we must ensure that drug-free barangays will maintain their status. All our efforts will go to waste if we allow the resurgence of illegal drug activities in these areas,” Aquino said.  

“To accelerate efforts against the proliferation of illegal drugs in drug-affected barangays, the government has adopted an integrated approach in securing the assistance of the local government units in drug-clearing operations,” the PDEA chief said, citing Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 3 Series of 2017, otherwise known as “Strengthening the Implementation of the Barangay Drug-Clearing Program”.

Source: PNA

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  1. I'm glad to know about this update. Hoping all brgy will be drug free in no time. Latest local government news is what I am after that.