Nearly 2,300 villages in the six provinces of the Bicol region have been cleared of illegal drugs by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the Police Regional Office (PRO) 5 (Bicol) said Friday.
Out of the 2,793 affected barangays, 2,264 have been declared drug-cleared as of Sept. 18, with the 529 remaining villages still undergoing assessment by the authorities, PRO-5 spokesperson Lt. Col. Malu Calubaquib said in an interview.
"These barangays received a certification declaring them drug-cleared. They underwent a series of monitoring and evaluation," she said.
Based on PRO-5 records, from Jan. 1 to Sept. 18, a total of 755 suspects were arrested during 714 anti-illegal drugs operations that led to the confiscation of illegal drugs with an estimated street value of PHP67.7 million, including 731.21 grams of marijuana and 10,063.32 grams of shabu.
Naga City reported the highest amount of confiscated illegal substances, valued at PHP 27.9 million; followed by Masbate (PHP12.7 million); Camarines Sur (PHP12.4 million); Albay (PHP6.4 million); Camarines Norte (PHP6.3 million); Catanduanes (PHP728,561.88); and Sorsogon (PHP16,705.69).
Naga City is an independent component city located in Camarines Sur province.
Calubaquib said as part of the "Buhay Ingatan, Droga ay Ayawan" (BIDA) initiative, the PRO-5, in collaboration with other government agencies, completed the program and assisted in the rehabilitation of individuals engaged in drug sale and use.
"A total of 42,358 individuals participated in the program, with 9,742 individuals graduating from the Recovery and Wellness Program and 32,616 individuals benefiting from the Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation Program," she said.
Calubaquib said PRO-5's efforts against drugs would continue to attain a secure and drug-free environment for Bicolanos.
Source: Philippines News Agency