Issue of August 11, 2019
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LGUs ask PDEA to verify info on drug-cleared barangays
by Ofelia C. Empian

Local government officials have asked the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to verify its reports especially on drug-cleared barangays.

During the joint Regional Development Council-Regional Peace and Order Council meeting, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong urged PDEA to validate reports of drug-related cases being brought to them.

“There’s a challenge for you to really validate, otherwise decision makers would come up with the wrong decision,” Magalong said.

Magalong’s query, which was backed by other executives during the meeting, stemmed from the presentation of PDEA during the RPOC meeting stating that as of Aug. 9, there are 63 remaining drug-affected barangays in the Cordillera.

The province with the highest remaining drug affected barangays is Abra with 29 followed by Baguio with 15, Kalinga with eight, Apayao and Benguet with five barangays each, and Ifugao with one. 

Only Mountain Province has no drug-affected barangay which means the province has been declared as drug - cleared by the oversight committee of PDEA.

Of the 816 identified drug-affected barangays in the region, 753 barangays were categorized as drug-cleared. 

Baguio has 124 identified drug-affected barangays and only four unaffected barangays. Of the number, only 109 were drug-cleared.

Abra has 217 identified drug-affected barangays with 188 drug-cleared and 86 unaffected while Kalinga has 114 drug-affected barangays with 106 drug-cleared and 38 unaffected barangays. 

Benguet has 112-drug affected barangays where 107 were drug-cleared and 28 unaffected; Apayao has 102-drug affected with 97 drug-cleared and 31 unaffected; Ifugao has 82 drug-affected barangays with 81 drug-cleared and 94 unaffected; and Mountain Province has 65 drug-affected barangays, which was eventually declared cleared and 79 unaffected barangays. 

The oversight committee of PDEA prior to its declaration as drug-cleared then validated these identified drug-affected barangays.

The city mayor casted doubt on the report, as he claimed that the record does not reflect the situation in the various barangays.

“Give the true picture for local chief executives to know what to do,” Magalong, who was also the lone nominee for RPOC chairmanship, said.

Magalong, however, recognized the need for support to the law enforcers in the various LGUs so he urged other local chief executives to assist the policemen and PDEA in their enforcement operations in their respective areas.

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