■ Ofelia C. Empian
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Philippine National Police have sustained the anti-drug campaign to reduce the supply of illegal drugs in the Cordillera.
PDEA-Cordillera Information Officer Rosel Sarmiento said the agency’s Preventive Education and Community Involvement team has been going around the region to conduct training of trainers.
The group has also conducted symposia on drug-free workplace programs and related lectures catering to offices in the private and government reaching a total audience of 5,875.
It has also recently inaugurated a Balay Silangan Reformation Center in Lamut, Ifugao.
Aside from its advocacy campaigns, the PDEA and PNP also conducted a series of marijuana eradications especially in Tinglayan, Kalinga which led to the destruction of P18.3 million worth marijuana.
This involves the uprooting and burning of 91,500 pieces of marijuana plants discovered in five planting sites in barangays Ngibat and Buscalan on Oct. 2 to 3.
The PDEA-Region 1 and PDEA-Cordillera assisted by the Police Regional Office-Cordillera implemented the simultaneous marijuana eradication campaign destroying P14.1M of fully grown marijuana plants in Barangay Buscalan, while in Barangay Ngibat, P4.2M worth of marijuana plants were also burned onsite.
From Sept. 25 to 29, P7.2M worth fully grown marijuana plants were also destroyed in Barangay Butbut Proper, still in Tinglayan by composite teams of PDEA-Region 2, PDEA- CAR, and PRO-Cor.
In Sagada, Mountain Province, authorities destroyed on Oct. 3 a 600-meter marijuana plantation within a communal forest at Sitio Etang, Dagdag.
No cultivator was arrested during the operations.