MANILA — A total of 3,534 out of 42,036 barangays in the country have been cleared of drugs in line with the government’s ongoing anti-narcotics campaign.
This was disclosed by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron N. Aquino based on the monthly update on “#RealNumbers”.
“These barangays have reached drug-cleared status after issuance of a certification by members of the Oversight Committee on Barangay Drug-Clearing Program,” he said.
The Oversight Committee, which is chaired by PDEA, is composed of provincial representatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH), and local government units.
“Before declaring that a barangay is 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 pusher, and user,” the PDEA chief said.
The declaration is pursuant to the parameters set forth by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) as provided in Section 8, DDB Board Regulation No. 3 Series of 2017, otherwise known as “Strengthening the Implementation of the Barangay Drug-Clearing Program”.
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 the illegal narcotics.
There are three basic parameters in determining barangay drug-affectation: slightly affected, moderately affected, and seriously affected.
Barangays are considered slightly affected if there is a reported presence of user/s of illegal drugs are drug personality in barangays; moderately affected if there is a reported presence user/s and pusher/s of illegal drugs are drug personality of a barangay; and seriously affected if there is drug laboratory, den, dive or resort, marijuana plantation, are reported to exist in the community.
On June 2, 2017, Batanes has earned the distinction of being the country’s first province proclaimed drug-free.
Meanwhile, in its monthly update on “#RealNumbers,” PDEA said that 163 drug dens and nine clandestine shabu laboratories have also been destroyed from June 2016 to September 2017.
During the same period, some PHP18.84 billion worth of illegal drugs were seized from these operations.
As of September 26, 2017, a total of 2,506.93 kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride, also known as “shabu,” with an estimated street value of PHP12.9 billion, were seized.
PDEA said authorities also arrested 113,932 individuals involved in illegal drugs from July 2016 to September 26, 2017.
Included in the total figure are 398 government workers — 175 of them elected officials, 35 uniformed personnel, and 188 government employees.
Around 76,863 anti-illegal drugs operations were conducted by by joint law enforcement agencies during the period.
As of September 26, 2017, the consolidated report showed that 3,906 drug suspects have died during operations.
Meanwhile, of the 310 law enforcers either killed or injured in anti-drug operations — 85 were killed in action and at least 225 officers were reported injured.
Aside from PDEA, the agencies involved in the fight against illegal drugs include the Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the Bureau of Customs (BOC), among others.
The joint law enforcement agencies rescued 583 minors during the anti-illegal drugs operations.
According to the Department of Social and Welfare Development (DSWD), the rescued minors were turned over to Bahay Pagasa centers of local government units (LGUs) after court proceedings then they were handed over to DSWD for counseling and reformation.
Since they are minors, DSWD said they should not be put in prison together with hard criminals.