‘No drug-free barangay in Cagayan’
TUGUEGARAO CITY―No barangay in Cagayan province is drug-free, officials of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Region 2 said during the Cagayan Peace and Order Council Meeting here.
PDEA Regional Director Laurefel Gabales said based on the new parameters released by the Dangerous Drugs Board last March, only 10 barangays were declared as drug-free in Cagayan Valley region except for the barangays in Batanes province.
Batanes had earned the distinction of being the country’s first province proclaimed drug-free upon the verification and approval of members of the country’s anti-drug Oversight Committee.
The barangays declared as drug-free in Cagayan “were only initiatives of the different chiefs of police,” Gabales stressed.
“The PDEA, being the head of the oversight committee is the only authorized agency to declare a barangay as drug-free,” he told the mayors present at the meeting.
“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.
Meanwhile, Gov. Manuel Mamba has instructed 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 such.
Pursuant to the parameters set by the DDB as provided in Section 8 of its 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 a drug user, pusher, manufacturer, marijuana cultivator, or other drug personalities and facilities regardless of number in the area.
The Oversight Committee, which is chaired by PDEA, is composed of provincial representatives of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Philippine National Police, Department of Health, and local government units.
According to the DDB, three basic parameters that determine 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 the barangay’s total population as drug personalities; “moderately affected” if two to 20 percent of the population are reportedly into drugs; and “seriously affected” if at least one drug laboratory or marijuana plantation, more than 20 percent of barangay’s total population are into drugs, and three or more drug dens or “tiangges” are reported to exist in the community, Gabales disclosed.