October 4, 2022

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Cordillera reported more than P159 million worth of illegal drugs were confiscated as a result of its relentless campaign against illegal drugs and the implementation of the barangay drug-clearing program in the region from May to Aug. 15.

PDEA-Cordillera Director Gil Cesario Castro, in the 3rd quarter meeting of the Cordillera Regional Peace and Order Council, said from May 1 to Aug. 15, there were 290 anti-illegal drug operations conducted in partnership with the Police Regional Office-Cordillera.

The operations resulted in the confiscation of P159.79M worth of illegal drugs, arrest of 44 personalities, and filing of 54 cases in court.

Castro said PDEA and PRO-Cor has a more efficient and effective monitoring and implementation of anti-illegal drug operations.

In their unified list, they are monitoring two drug groups with six active members and 77 drug personalities – 34 under the target list or those in active illegal drugs activities and 33 under watch list or those undergoing community-based rehabilitation program.

The PDEA-Cordillera also affirmed continuous implementation of the Barangay Drug-Clearing Program.

It reported that out of the 1,178 barangays in the region, 766 are classified as drug-cleared; 327, drug-free; 36, unaffected; and 50 drug-affected barangays up for clearing.

For the remaining drug-affected barangays, 26 are in Abra, 11 in Baguio City, eight in Kalinga, three in Apayao, and two in Benguet.

Ifugao and Mountain Province have no drug-affected barangays.

Castro said Cordillera has the least drug affectation rate among the regions in the country.

He said clearing the remaining drug-affected barangays is doable.        

On the challenge of clearing the Cordillera of marijuana plantations, the PDEA-Cordillera is working on a comprehensive plan that the CRPOC is also supporting.

Castro hopes that in partnership with the national government through the Dangerous Drugs Board, they will come up with a sustainable alternative livelihood program for the communities with marijuana plantations. Castro also reported that in partnership with Holcim Cement Philippines, PDEA-Cordillera is already implementing a more efficient way of disposing confiscated illegal drugs. – Carlito Dar

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