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BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong urged the Cordillera office of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-CAR) to report the true state of illegal drugs not only in the city but also in the Cordillera to ensure that policy makers and decision makers will formulate the appropriate anti-illegal drug strategies to combat the proliferation of illegal drugs that compromise the bright future of the youth.
Magalong, who is the lone nominee as chairman of the Cordillera Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC-CAR), questioned the PDEA-CAR report stating among other that there are only 15 barangays in the city that are drug affected, saying that barangay officials and even anti-narcotics officers believe otherwise.
The local chief executive pointed out that by providing the policy makers and decision makers with the correct data on the illegal drug situation in their areas of jurisdiction, municipal, city and provincial officials will definitely be provided with the basis to come out with the appropriate anti-illegal drug strategies to curb the proliferation of illegal drugs in the city and the whole region.
Earlier, PDEA-Car reported to the joint meeting of the RPOC-CAR and the Regional Development Council (RDC) at the Mansion House that of the city’s 128 barangays, there are only 15 barangays that remain drug affected to date.
However, the city mayor claimed that based on his personal talks with barangay officials, they do not believe that there are only that number of barangays that are considered to be drug affected, thus, the need for the PDEA-CAR to validate its data so that the true state on the proliferation of illegal drugs in the city and the region will be the one that will be reported during the joint meetings.
He explained that with the report on the true state of illegal drugs in a certain locality, local officials will be constrained to provide additional funding support to law enforcers and anti-narcotics operatives so that there will be unrelenting anti-drug operations that will eventually lead to the declaration of a certain barangay, city, municipality or province as drug cleared.
In the case of Baguio city, he announced that the local government will be increasing the funds for the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (CADAC) from P1 million to P5 million wherein the same must be replicated by other local governments regionwide to help in curbing the proliferation of illegal drugs in their areas of jurisdiction.
According to him, law enforcers and anti-narcotics agents also get minimal funds for their operations that is why local governments, especially those with available resources, should willingly provide additional funds to support the operational requirements of the police and PDEA for an intensified anti-illegal drugs in their areas of jurisdiction that will result to the declaration of a certain local government drug cleared in the coming months.
Of the 1,176 barangays regionwide, PDEA-CAR reported that there are only 359 barangays that are considered to be drug free while the remaining number of barangays are either drug cleared or drug affected based on the parameters handed down by higher authorities for the said purpose.
By Dexter A. See