News and UpdatesIn the News500 barangays drug-affected

500 barangays drug-affected


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Only 37 of the 557 villages in Negros Oriental remain classified as drug-affected, with 40 others already cleared as of this year, a Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency official said on Tuesday.

PDEA-Negros Oriental provincial chief Jane Tuadles said in a Kapihan sa PIA forum that this was the result of an all-out campaign by different line agencies to address the drug problem in the Province.

“From the start of the barangay drug clearing operations in 2017, we have about 94 percent affectation or 527 barangays in the province affected by the illegal drug problem”, she said in mixed English and Cebuano.

Due to the continuous efforts of the local government units, the PDEA, the Philippine National Police, the Department of the Interior & Local Government, and barangay officials, the number of villages still facing the drug problem has been reduced to a minimum, she added.

Fernando Martinez, who heads the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council, in the same forum said that there were other local government units, such as Sta. Catalina, Canlaon City, and Pamplona, now being prioritized to be declared as drug-free.

It is still unofficial but hopefully, this will take place this year provided they have met all the requirements, Martinez said.

Meanwhile, the volume of suspected shabu seized this year in Negros Oriental dropped significantly compared to last year due to intensified anti-illegal drug operations resulting in the dwindling supply in the streets.

From January to the present, Tuadles said the PNP and PDEA operatives conducted a total of 355 operations with 382 persons arrested and five kilos of suspected shabu seized.

In contrast, for the same period last year, a total of 308 joint PDEA and PNP operations were conducted, resulting in the arrest of 339 individuals and the seizure of 16 kilograms of suspected shabu.

Tuadles attributed the reduction in drug seizures this year to relentless operations conducted by law enforcement agencies, which have resulted in a steep decline in the supply of shabu being brought to Negros Oriental.

The forum, which presented panel speakers officials from the PDEA, DILG, and the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council, was held as part of activities lined up for the celebration of Drug Prevention and Control Week every third week of November, with the theme, People First: Stop Stigma and Discrimination; Strengthen Prevention. (Judy F. Partlow/PNA)



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