5 villages in Samar now drug-free: PDEA

MANILA Five barangays (villages) in the province of Samar have been declared cleared of illegal drugs in line with the government's ongoing anti-narcotics campaign, said the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

In a statement on Friday, PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said that last May 2, barangays Boblaran, Marapilit, Maputi, Mombon, and Pangdan, all in the municipality of Zumarraga in Samar, were declared drug-free with the issuance of a certification at the Zumarraga Municipal Hall.

The activity was attended by Zumarraga Mayor Neliptha Figueroa; Maryrose Versoza of the Department of Health; Zumarraga Police acting chief, Senior Insp. Joshua Bien Chiquillo; and the respective chairpersons of the five barangays.

Aquino said a drug-clearing operation was conducted in the five barangays by PDEA operatives and members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and this was validated last April 26 by the Municipal Oversight Committee, which found the five villages to have met all the parameters set under Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Regulation No. 3, series of 2017, or Strengthening the Barangay Drug Clearing Program.

The agency aims and commits itself to clear the remaining drug-affected barangays nationwide by 2022. 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.

Before declaring a barangay 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 pushers and users, among others.

There should also be drug awareness, preventive education and information, and other related programs, voluntary and compulsory drug treatment and rehabilitation processing desk, and the active involvement of barangay officials and Sanguniang Kabataan in anti-drug activities.

A barangay is said to be drug-affected when there is a reported presence of drug users, pushers, manufacturers, marijuana cultivators, and other infrastructure related to illegal narcotics.

There are three basic parameters in determining barangay drug-affectation: slightly affected, moderately affected, and seriously affected.

A barangay is considered slightly affected if less than 2 percent of its population are drug personalities, and moderately affected if 2 percent to 20 percent of its population are drug personalities.

A village is seriously affected if it has at least one drug laboratory, den, dive or resort, marijuana plantation; if more than 20 percent of its population are drug personalities; if it has three or more drug dens or tiangges. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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