The government’s massive campaign against illegal drugs continues to gain success after 570 more barangays have been declared “drug-free” based on the latest government data released on Wednesday.
As of June 30, the #RealNumberPH data from Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) showed that the total “drug-cleared” barangays reached 22,461, a big improvement from the 21,891 villages recorded on April 30.
The government, however, has yet to clear 12,851 more drug-affected villages out of 42,045 total number barangays in the country.
PDEA spokesperson Derrick Carreon earlier said before declaring that a barangay is free from illegal drug activities, the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) must validate the non-availability of drug supply, the absence of drug transit activity, clandestine drug laboratory and chemical warehouse, marijuana cultivation site, drug den, drug pushers and users in the area.
He said the activation of Barangay Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs) is also very crucial in the success of the implementation of the campaign.
In partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), PDEA conducted training-orientation to local government units (LGUs) all over the country on measures and indicators on declaring drug-cleared barangays.
PDEA earlier launched the “Barangay PDEA” program which aims to promote a “balanced and humane” anti-drug campaign.
PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva said the program provides the public a more comprehensive platform of information on the harm reduction initiatives of the Barangay Drug Clearing Program like the Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation Program and Balay Silangan, both drug intervention programs for surrendering drug users and pushers to help them re-integrate in the society and become productive citizens.
According to the government data, the anti-drug enforcement operatives have conducted 207,007 operations that resulted in the arrest of 298,848 persons and the death of 6,165 drug suspects as of June 30.
Among those arrested were 307 foreign nationals, 489 government employees, 386 elected officials, and 119 uniformed personnel.
In his sixth and final State of the Nation Address last Monday, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte admitted that he was upset upon learning that many government officials were involved in the illegal drug trade, including nine police generals.
“This is why I am upset. I did not know that I was fighting my own government. Customs and everyone else were facilitating the importation of drugs. And one importation, as you can see it every night on TV, the police now seize about almost a billion worth of drugs every day,” he said.
Law enforcers have also arrested 3,575 high-value targets and 5,318 individuals from high-impact operations, and 1,264 drug den maintainers.
The government also 3,800 children involved in illegal drug activities, including 2,227 tagged as pushers, 932 possessors, 416 drug users, and 197 visitors of drug dens, nine drug den maintainers, 14 drug den employees and one clandestine lab employee.
The number of dismantled drug dens and clandestine laboratories has also reached 832, the data showed.
It added that the total value of seized drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals, and laboratory equipment is now P61.69 billion, including P50.94 billion worth of shabu.