By Rey Anthony Chiu/PIA-Bohol | 12:02 AM January 19, 2020
Of the 47 towns and one city in Bohol, three towns lead the list of attaining an almost perfect number of drug cleared barangays, a report shared at the recent Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC) and the Provincial peace and Order Council (PPOC) joint meeting showed.
The towns of Calape, Jagna and Valencia each scored 97% in the Regional Oversight Committees (ROC) Drug Clearing program, Calape clearing 32 of their 33 barangays, Jagna clearing 32 or their 33 barangays and Valencia, clearing 34 of their 35 barangays, according to reports by the Center for Drug Education and Counselling (CDEC) in Bohol.
After the three, the drug clearing campaign in Trinidad and Pilar come as a strong runner up, each clearing 95 percent of their drug affected barangays.
Pilar scored a barangay clearance of 20 out of their 21 villages while Trinidad scored in the clearing of 19 of their 21 barangays, according to the same report at the PADAC meeting.
Strong contenders are Lila (17 cleared of their 18 barangays) and Batuan, where 14 of the 15 barangays are now ROC certified drug free.
During the recent joint council meetings held January 16 at the new Capitol Building, citing police undated reports, CDEC authorities also bared that 11 municipalities in Bohol have lack-luster performance in the war on illegal drugs as bannered by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The Philippine National Police which tallies the drug clearing accomplishment of the ROC bared that Bien Unido, Carmen, Corella, Cortes, Inabanga, Loay, Mabini, Panglao, Sagbayan, San Miguel and Ubay have scored nil in the campaign to clear their barangays of the drug menace, from 2017 until the present.
Now, what could have happened along the way when from the hailed province having convinced drug offenders to come out in droves, local authorities are groping for ways to sustain on the momentum?
The same question pops as the anti-illegal drugs campaign critics take on the government’s drug clearing program and the seemingly increasing bulk of drugs flooding the streets anew.
Which should come first: choking on the drug supply and clearing communities or clearing drug affected communities and then going on into the supply chain?
In the heated campaign against illegal drugs, narcotics authorities at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Bohol have disclosed that the tricking supply of drugs then has caused the increase in street price and the police supply reduction operations have choked the channels working as drugs conduits.
At the same time police and other allied authorities who are acting on their mandates in support of the national anti-drugs campaign horned on the menace that has hounded the future of the youth, recent reports bare that drug supplies in the streets have come back.
At the joint meeting of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) and the Provincial Anti Drug Abuse Council (PADAC), held at the new Bohol Capitol January 16, police authorities said they arrested an average of two drug personalities a day in 2019 in their 566 operations.
These drives also confiscated a total of 7.6 kilos of dangerous drugs with a Dangerous Drugs Board street value of P52 million, all in a year’s time.
And as to the drug clearing operations, while the Bohol Center for Drug Education and Counselling (CEDEC) reports the capacitation of 47 towns and Tagbilaran City on Handling the Psycho social services for Persons Who Use Drugs (PWUD), and 48 of the 48 towns being trained in the barangay Rehabilitation and referral Desk, barangay drug clearing is still at a measly 36 percent of the 1,109 barangays in Bohol.
When the drug clearing operations started in June of 2018, the Regional Oversight Committee (ROC): a multi-agency committee assessing the presence or absence of drugs in a locality, has cleared 321 barangays.
But, since then until now, the ROC has since added only 63 more barangays cleared until November 29 of 2019.
As yet, of the 1109 barangays, the ROC has only cleared 394 barangays: or nearly 36%.
And as some municipalities ventured out into ways of creatively packaging a system that works to fast track the clearing of their drug-affected barangays, 11 towns in Bohol still register a zero percent drug clearing program.
In clearing drug affected barangays, the ROC takes DDB Board resolution Number 3, series of 2017 as a bible and is guided by the criteria stated as the program’s implementing rules.
Short of saying, the ROC drug clearing operations can not start without the local authorities on their feet and their butts off the seats in their offices.
It also entails communities getting vigilant and watching each other, while local leaders innovate and creatively adopt ways to facilitate and hasten the screening, CEDEC’s Dr Cesar Tomas stressed.