There are 14 barangays in Davao City recently declared drug-free, said the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Davao Region (PDEA-Davao) on Friday, September 30.

Among these 14 barangays are Barangays 36-D in Poblacion District, Talomo River in Calinan District, Gumalang in Baguio District, and Alambre and Tungkalan in Toril District.

The remaining nine barangays are all from Tugbok District namely Barangays Balengaeng, Biao Escuela, Los Amigos, Manuel Guianga, Matina Biao, New Valencia, Tacunan, Tagakpan, and Talandang.

PDEA-Davao spokesperson Noli Dimaandal said during a radio interview that these barangays are drug-cleared effective September 27.

“They satisfactorily complied the required documents for drug-cleared barangays na gi-set ng (set by the) Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 3 Series of 2017 and PDEA Memorandum Circular 2020-041,” he said.

With this development, there are currently 81 out of 182 total barangays in Davao City that are declared drug-free. Dimaandal said other barangays are also motivated to work on their submissions in order to get the said recognition.

Region-wide, 890 barangays are drug-cleared out of the total 1,162.

Dimaandal said the recognition serves as a legacy for the barangay and its constituents and at the same time, the barangays are also challenged to initiate efforts to maintain their status.

“Naa ko naistorya na barangay officials and nangutana ko (unsa na nahitabo) sa ilang barangay na na-declare as drug-free, ang number one daw kay nabawasan ang krimen sa ilaha (I talked to some of our barangay officials and they said the crime activities went down after they were declared drug-free),” he said.

The spokesperson added that the most common crime related to drug use is robbery since users need money to buy drugs which can be expensive. Dimaandal also said that users usually end up selling drugs themselves.

On the other hand, Dimaandal said clearing barangays or areas in the downtown parts of Davao City can be difficult as there are drug-affected areas. These areas are either seriously affected, moderately affected, or slightly affected.

Seriously affected barangays mean drug dens, marijuana cultivation, and drug users and pushers are present in the area. For moderately affected barangays, only drug pushers and users are present while slightly affected barangays only have drug users.

In line with this, PDEA-Davao and other concerned government agencies continue to campaign against anti-illegal drugs.

“Mao gani na atong Director General Usec. Wilkins Villanueva ang naga-ingon na walang dapat mamatay, walang dapat makulog, rehabilitasyon ang kailangan para matulungan ang mga dating nalulong (Our Director General Usec. Wilkins Villanueva always says nobody should die or be imprisoned instead, rehabilitation is needed to help former users),” Dimaandal said. ICM