PDEA-8 de­clares 418 br­gys, 10 towns in EV as drug-free

The Freeman - - REGION - Primo A. Cayu­bit,

TA­CLOBAN CITY — Philip­pine Drug En­force­ment Agency-8 has an­nounced that, as of to­day, a to­tal of 418 barangays and 10 towns in East­ern Visayas are now de­clared free from il­le­gal drugs in­fes­ta­tion.

PDEA-8 Re­gional Di­rec­tor Edgar Jubay told The FREE­MAN that this num­ber con­sists of about 11 per­cent of the the to­tal barangays in the re­gion.

Jubay iden­ti­fied the de­clared drug-free towns as Balangkayan, Gen­eral MacArthur, Maslog, Mercedes, San Ju­lian, and San Poli­carpo — all in East­ern Sa­mar; Libagon, and Li­ma­sawa — both in South­ern Leyte; and Mo­tiong and Pagsang­jan — both of (western) Sa­mar.

How­ever, drug trade or abuse may return to these de­clared drug-free barangays and towns if left alone, or their of­fi­cials will be com­pla­cent, with­out sus­tain­ing the anti-drug cam­paign or ac­tiv­i­ties within the lo­cal gov­ern­ment units, said Jubay.

He said that it is re­spon­si­bil­ity or the job of the barangay anti-drug abuse coun­cil (BADAC) in ev­ery barangay in ev­ery town to mon­i­tor the il­le­gal drug trade and abuse, and main­tain or in­ten­sify the cam­paign against the il­le­gal dugs in their re­spec­tive area of re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Jubay said that, if the il­le­gal drug trade and use will return to their area, the PDEA-8 will re­move the barangay or the town from the list of the drug-free LGUs, and sum­mon the con­cerned barangay of­fi­cials re­gard­ing the re­cur­rence.

Jubay was on the other hand op­ti­mistic that, with PDEA-8’s re­lent­less anti-il­le­gal drug cam­paign, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with other agen­cies, more barangays and towns in East­ern Visayas will be de­clared as drug-free by the end of this year.

East­ern Visayas with the land area of 23,251.10 square kilo­me­ters has six prov­inces com­pris­ing Leyte, South­ern Leyte, East­ern Sa­mar, North­ern Sa­mar, Sa­mar and Bili­ran. The re­gion has 12 con­gres­sional dis­tricts, seven cities, 136 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, 4,390 barangays and a to­tal pop­u­la­tion of 4,440,150 ac­cord­ing to 2015 cen­sus.

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