Issue of August 6, 2017
     
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OPINION
 

69th Courier Anniversary Issue
 
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War on drugs & lowered crime rate in city hailed
by Harley F. Palangchao

THE STATE OF BAGUIO -- City Mayor Mauricio Domogan outlines the gains of his administration from a peaceful to financially stable city during his State of the City Address before officials and City Hall employees. Domogan expressed hopes the city achieves its vision and mission in the years to come. -- Harley Palangchao

Around 105 of the 128 barangays in Baguio were categorized as drug-free areas, according to City Mayor Mauricio Domogan, as he hopes the remaining barangays will be cleared soon.

In his State of the City Address, Domogan, who also chairs the Cordillera Regional Peace and Order Council, said his leadership supports the national government’s war on drugs “within the ambit of what is allowed by law.”

Proof of this was the conduct of a mandatory drug test among all City Hall employees, for which results showed that only three turned positive of illegal drugs use.

Those positive, including the one who passed recently due to cancer, joined the more than 2,300 drug offenders who underwent rehabilitation.

Citing a report from the Baguio City Police Office, the mayor said the more than 2,300 drug offenders who turned themselves in to the authorities as of January 2017 is insignificant to the city’s population but the city and the BCPO must not put their guards down.

“We look forward to a day when we can say that all our barangays in Baguio are truly drug-free,” Domogan said.

The number of supposedly drug-free barangays, however, must have to be validated by an oversight committee, which was created by the Dangerous Drug Board to monitor and validate areas earlier declared as drug-free.

Under the new policy, the declaration of drug-cleared or drug-free barangays is a mandate of the oversight committee chaired by the regional director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Department of the Interior and Local Government as vice chair. The members are the PNP, Department of Health, and the LGU concerned.

Domogan, meanwhile, reported the improving peace and order situation in Baguio owing to substantial decline in crime volume across various crimes categories over the past two years.

The mayor lauded the BCPO under the leadership of S/Supt. Ramil Saculles for achieving a crime clearance efficiency rate from 65 percent in 2015 to 80 percent as of June 2017. Crime solution efficiency rate also improved from 60 to 61 percent.

Earlier, BCPO reported the total crime volume in Baguio has been reduced by 46 percent over a two-year period from 8,545 cases recorded from July 2015 to June 2016 to 4,657 from July 2016 to June 2017.

The command also reported that index crimes were reduced by almost 73 percent from 4,657 from July 2015 to June 2016 to 1,237 from July 2016 to June 2017 or more than 3,400 index crimes lower than the previous period.

Even the number of non-index crimes was lowered by more than 1,400 from 4,797 cases to 3,384 cases from July 2016 to June 2017.

Index crimes refer to serious offenses like murder, homicide, robbery and rape while non-index crimes refer to light offenses.


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