10 brgys in Davao City unaffected by drugs - PDEA

DAVAO CITY, Jan. 19 (PIA)- Around 10 out of the 182 barangays in Davao City are unaffected of the drug problem, according to Antonio Rivera, director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency XI (PDEA XI).  

He explained that these are the barangays that do not have pushers dwelling in them. 

However, Rivera cited the need for the anti-drug campaign must be intensified in 162 barangays of Davao City during the remaining days of the Duterte Administration. 

He said most of the 162 barangays are classified either slightly or moderately affected with the presence of drug-users and pushers in these communities.

Rivera noted that the PDEA XI had cleared 16 barangays so far and targets five more barangays this year, starting from the remote barangays. 

However, he underscored addressing the drug-menace in urban barangays is a great challenge, especially that the people are highly mobile. 

Rivera urged the barangay governments in the urban center to cooperate with the local government unit, the Davao City Police Office and the PDEA XI to help clear their respective areas from the drug-problem.

He said the Executive Order No. 66 issued by the Office of the President in October 29, 2018 underscores the whole-of-nation approach in solving the drug-problem. 

“It calls for all government agencies to cooperate in the campaign to rid the country of illegal drugs,” he stressed.

Rivera said the campaign now involves the Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

“This law needs to be internalized by everyone, and we are starting it now to do what the presidents aims, to clear the country from illegal drugs,” he said.

Rivera agreed that the PDEA XI aims to address the problem by barangay since the war on drug begins and ends right at the doorstep which is the barangay. 

He acknowledged that currently the PDEA XI is convincing barangay governments in a civilized way to impart in the anti-drug campaign. 

Rivera said his agency is building partners in clearing communities from the drug menace and the barangay plays a crucial role in this pursuit. 

“The DILG has the authority to discipline barangays especially those that failed to organize its Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs), he pointed out. 

Rivera also urged the DILG to recognize barangay government which are active in the fight against the illegal-drug-trade. 

He said a mere plaque certifying the barangay as drug-free can influence other barangays to follow suit.

“A reward system is relevant to encourage them to do their work in clearing their barangay from the problem of illegal-drugs,” Rivera said.

 He cited the big hurdles in addressing the drug-problem in urbanized areas like Barangay 76-A which has a large population. 

Rivera bared the barangay captain in the area has a list of the drug-pushers and users in this area. 

He said the barangay chair must give full attention to the list of drug dependents who can be enrolled in the Community-Based Rehabilitation Program. (PIA XI- Joey Sem G. Dalumpines)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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