13 villages declared drug-free

THIRTEEN barangays in the city may soon be declared as drug-free, the regional Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said yesterday.

But PDEA director Adzhar Albani is still withholding the name of the barangays that they are certifying to be free from any illegal drug activity because they are still confirming with the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB).

In yesterday’s press conference held at gymnasium of Davao City Police Office (DCPO), Albani said most of the barangays are located in remote places in the city.

The PDEA chief said declaring a barangay as drug-free is not easy, because it undergoes several reviews.

He said the DDB has new regulation before the barangay will be declared drug-free.

He said there will be seven signatories before the declaration.

The approval should be signed by five members of the oversight committee, before it goes to the chief of police and then to the city mayor.

“So hard to get the certification,” Albani said. “It’s not (just) for the sake of clearing barangay but it’s an honest to goodness clearing.”

Reduced supply

Albani said the drug supply in the city has decreased to more than half apparently due to the series of operations the law enforces conducted.

In their previous one-time big-time operation, he said they seized about 370 grams of shabu. In their operation yesterday, he said, the amount of shabu (at 131 grams) was very minimal despite the high number of the arrested suspect.

Those arrested were small time and the drug supply was less than half of the volume of previous bust, he said.

He said the other indicator of the decreasing drug supply in the market is the increasing of price. In 2015, a gram of shabu was sold at P9,000. The current street rate of shabu in the city is at P15,000 per gram, the highest price in the country.

Davao City Police Office director Sr. Supt. Tagum said one of the factors that led to the decrease in drug supply is the continuous police operation of Oplan Toktok hangyo (TokHang) and Tapok Hangyo (TapHang).

He said that out of the 8,000 drug personalities who surrendered, more than 60 percent “ang nawala” (eliminated).

He said that most of the drugs in the city come from the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

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