MANILA Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte urged barangays to work harder in implementing drug-clearing operations as only 21 of the city's 142 barangays have been declared "drug-free."
Belmonte made the statement Monday as the Department of the Interior and Local Government called on barangay captains to activate their respective anti-drug abuse councils in support of the government's anti-illegal drugs campaign.
Quezon City barangays declared drug-free by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in 2017 are Maharlika, Phil-Am, Paligsahan, Laging Handa, Teacher's Village East, Novaliches Proper, Capri, Greater Lagro, Greater Fairview, New Era, Damar, West Triangle, Libis, Blue Ridge B, Mangga, Quirino 3B, Kalusugan, Valencia, and Horseshoe.
Batasan Hills, Commonwealth, and Payatas, on the other hand, have been declared severely affected barangays in QC.
Belmonte, who heads the QC Anti-Drug Abuse Advisory Council, acknowledged the difficulty of clearing the severely affected barangays, saying it would already be a big achievement to lower their classification to moderately affected.
These barangays are big so it will take us time (to clear them) They should be given an award or recognition once they are able to lower their classification since even that would be difficult to achieve, she said.
Belmonte said she mulls giving rewards or incentives to barangays that could lower their classification from severely affected to "moderately affected" by drugs.
I think giving them reward or incentive would push them to further work hard, at least lower their status from being 'severely affected' to 'moderately affected', she added.
Based on the Dangerous Drugs Board guidelines on barangay drug-clearing operations, a barangay that has 20 percent of its population involved in drugs is classified as "severely affected".
Barangays with 2 percent of its population involved in drugs are considered "moderately affected," and those with only one pusher or drug dependent are considered slightly affected".
A barangay is drug-cleared once it is found free of illegal drug activities. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency