THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Davao Region recorded a total of 112 barangays cleared of illegal drugs in Davao region as of October.
Agent Naravy Duquiatan, PDEA-Davao director, said out of the 538 barangays tagged as drug-infected, 112 have been cleared by the regional oversight committee led by their office.
The highest number of drug-cleared barangays is in Davao del Norte province with 33; 22 in Davao Occidental; 20 in Davao Oriental; 19 in Davao del Sur; and 18 in Compostela Valley.
According to the Dangerous Drug Board (DDB), before a certain village will be declared as drug-free, they must undergo assessment and validation with the chief of police. Then they must be certified by the local executive, PDEA, the Department of Health, Department of Interior Local Government, and the members of the oversight committee before the issuance of certificate for drug-free.
Certain parameters were set before a barangay will be declared as drug-free including the non-availability of drug supply; absence of drug den, pusher, and user; absence of clandestine drug laboratory; active involvement of barangay officials in anti-drug activities; existence of drug awareness, preventive education and information; and existence of voluntary and compulsory drug treatment and rehabilitation processing desk.
This year's third quarter statistics also shows a total of 908 operations conducted with 1,094 arrested drug personalities. Also seized were 1,671 grams of crystal meth (shabu) and 6,000 grams of marijuana with an estimated market value of P8 million.
In Davao Region, the law enforcement agency has filed 2,107 cases in different courts for violation of the Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Drug Act.
On Wednesday, San Isidro, Davao Oriental was declared as a drug-free municipality after eight of its barangays was cleared of drugs by the DDB.
It can be noted that Davao City has no barangays cleared yet because Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio refused to sign the document as she first wants all the drug reformists undergo rehabilitation and aftercare program.
"Based on the result of our regional peace and order council meeting last week, the mayor is still firm with her decision that she will not sign the certificate of drug-cleared barangays," Duquiatan said.
She also lauded that community rehabilitation effort of the City Government through the Davao City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (Cadac) with their program Tabangan Atong Reformists Aron Naay Asenso (Tara Na), which caters to drug reformists from all barangays.
"We are very thankful for the good mayor since the community rehabilitation and aftercare program of Davao City is very active. Doon pumapasok ang mga drug surrenderers, kini-cater halos lahat ng barangay sa Davao City to reform," Duquiatan said.
Out of the 182 barangays in the city, there are about 122 affected by illegal drugs and 60 barangays are unaffected. Davao City barangays Langub in Maa and Lamanan in Calinan were recommended by PDEA to be certified as cleared of drugs. All their reformists are enrolled in community rehabilitation.
Duquiatan said they have received recommendations from barangays in Davao City that will be declared drug-free but only the two barangays have been processed by PDEA from pre-operational to post-operational phase.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on October 21, 2017.
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