AT LEAST 37 barangays in the region are still subject for anti-illegal drug clearing operations as Cordillera is eyeing a 100 percent drug free Cordillera before 2017 ends.

Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operation Task Groups (RAID SOTG) Police Senior Inspector Benedict Gang-aoen said only the province of Benguet and Baguio City are still under their watch.

“There are 19 barangays in Baguio City and 18 barangays in Benguet wherein personnel have on-going drug clearing operations,” he said.

The RAID SOTG officer revealed there were 362 barangays recorded previously, which were already cleared of illegal drug use and was validated by Camp Dangwa.

“Out of 1,177, there were 362 previously cleared barangays. Thus, the remaining 815 barangays were subject for clearing operations. Since Oct. 26, 2016 to present, under the Project Double Barrel Alpha, we have cleared a total of 778 barangays,” Gang-aoen continued.

Benguet has four moderately affected areas while 12 barangays are under the seriously affected barangays.

“There are certain parameters by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in categorizing these, the serious, moderate or slightly affected areas. We may not have shabu laboratories but because of the presence of marijuana cultivation, it was characterized as seriously affected area,” he added.

In Baguio, from 128 slightly affected areas, only 19 is under the slightly affected parameters, the police officer continued.

Gang-aoen revealed if two percent of the total population of the community are recorded pushers or users, it will fall under the moderately affected category.

The police official added the Philippine National Police is working on the positive outcome of the national war on drugs in collaboration with the different Municipal Police Stations, Local Government Units, the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPATS), different stakeholders, community and the media.

Meanwhile, Police Regional Office Cordillera Information Officer Police Superintendent Marcelo Polig said recently that their strict implementation procedures in drug clearing operations will continue until they reach their target of a drug free region.

On the Project Double Barrel which began July 1 to October 25 last year, authorities have concentrated on Tokhang, accounting of surrendered and accounting drug personalities but when the Project Double Barrel Alpha was finally launched in October 26 up to present, it has intensified its coverage to drug clearing operations, accounting of high valued targets.