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