Bohol has been ranked fifth in the Philippines and first in Central Visayas in terms of barangay drug affectation percentage, but the province’s top anti-narcotics agent is optimistic that the ranking will improve in the forthcoming weeks.
According to Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency provincial officer Nicolas Gomez, around 400 barangays in Bohol have been recommended by the provincial government and the PDEA to be declared drug-free by the multi-agency Regional Oversight Committee.
“Kanang atong pagka-number five ron, nangutana ta sa Regional Oversight Committee, kung ma-put on record na ni siya officially as [drug-cleared barangays], kung asa ta dapit nabutang ron, ang sulti nila ubos-ubos na atong mabutangan [sa lista],” said Gomez.
Gomez is optimistic that Bohol will significantly drop from the rankings by the end of June or early part of July when new tabulations will be released.
Based on the PDEA’s latest data, Bohol is 5th in the entire country and first in Central Visayas in terms of the percentage of drug-affected villages.
Gomez however clarified that even a single drug user could be a basis in declaring an area as slightly drug-affected.
Official drug-affectation of a barangay will be deteremined by the Regional Oversight Committee which will be the last, after the Municipal Anti-drug Abuse Council and Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council, to confirm a village’s drug-free status.
The regional committee is chaired by the PDEA and joined by officials from other agencies and institutions including the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Philippine National Police, the Department of Health and local government units.
“Kaning pag-certify sa usa ka barangay as drug-free siya, mi-agi na na siya sa barangay level unya sa among level sa PDEA we need to verify kung drug-free ba gyud ni siyang barangaya so kaning gi-submit nato na almost 400 mao ni ang mga mi-agi sa atong proseso,” he said. (A. Doydora)