TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) region 2 during the Cagayan Peace and Order Council Meeting here bared that no barangay in this province is declared drug-free.
PDEA Regional Director Laurefel Gabales said based on the new parameters released by the Drug Dangerous Board (DBB) on March 2017, there are only 10 barangay declared as drug-free in the region except for the barangays in Batanes province which earned the distinction of being the country’s first province proclaimed hard drugs-free upon the verification and approval of members of the Oversight Committee.
He said the many barangays declared as drug-free in Cagayan were only initiatives of the different chiefs of police.
“The PDEA, being the head of the oversight committee is the only authorize agency to declare a barangay as drug-free,” he told the Mayors present during the meeting.
The Oversight Committee, which is chaired by PDEA, is composed of provincial representatives of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Health (DOH) and local government units (LGUs).
“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,” said Gabales.
Pursuant to the parameters set forth by the 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 user, pusher, manufacturer, marijuana cultivator or other drug personalities and facilities regardless of number in the area.
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 less than two percent of barangay’s total population are drug personality; moderately affected if there is a reported presence of two percent to 20 percent of a barangay’s total population are drug personality; and seriously affected if at least one drug laboratory, den, dive or resort, marijuana plantation, more than 20 percent of barangay’s total population are drug personality, and three or more drug dens or tiangges, are reported to exist in the community.
On the other hand, Governor Manuel Mamba, has instructed the different mayors in the province to coordinate with the barangay captains of the previously declared drug-free barangays in their towns to remove the tarpaulins posted in their barangay halls declaring them as drug-free.
Mayor Shalimar Tumaru of Aparri town here, for her part, has requested the PDEA and DILG to give the different Mayors and Chiefs of Police a copy of the new parameters of the DBB for better coordination to the barangay captains. Mark Cadiente Tumabao/PIA
Photo: Police show seized illegal drugs, money and guns. PNP photo