Amid the national government’s continued war on narcotics trade, being declared drug-free is among today’s finer distinctions for local government units (LGU). And for a small town such as San Isidro, the feat is within grasp, its mayor believes.
Drug activities in recent months have significantly dwindled in the landlocked town which has a population of 10,000, according to Mayor Jacinto Narraga.
It would not be long before San Isidro joins Batuan, the sole drug-free town in Bohol as declared by the Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse (MADAC) and Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADAC), said Narraga.
Since December, two of San Isidro’s villages had also been declared drug-free, namely Barangay Cansague Norte and Barangay Baryong Daan. Three more are set to be cleared of narcotics activities in the forthcoming weeks.
Although he did not name the three barangays, Narraga noted that tight monitoring operations are being carried out in said villages to confirm if drug use and sale have indeed been eradicated there.
With only 12 barangays in San Isidro, Narraga is confident that the total clearing of illegal drugs in his town is already on the horizon.
He said that the town’s MADAC is even set to conduct an assessment on the municipality’s progress in its anti-drug campaign next month and it is possible that the committee could already grant the drug-free distinction.
However, the mayor pointed out the likelihood of drug pushers from Tubigon, which has a population of over 40,000, and other neighbor towns extending their operations into San Isidro.
In Batuan, Mayor Dodo Jumawid whose town is already declared drug-free is faced with a similar problem.
He admitted that maintaining the drug-free distinction would be a tall order as drug personalities from other towns could expand operations into Batuan.
This has prompted the LGU to further tighten security in the municipality by recording entries into the town, particularly of those on board motorcycles with no plate numbers, added Jumawid.
Since the launch of the Duterte administration’s campaign against drugs, 95 of Bohol’s 1,109 barangays have been declared drug-free by the MADAC and 164 were cleared by BADAC while 17 have not been affected by drug activities, based on data from the Bohol police.
After the data’s release last week, Bohol police Community Relations Branch chief Supt. George Vale urged LGUsto intensify their drive in clearing barangays of illegal drug activities which has already been achieved by other villages.
Vale said that the recent disclosure should serve as wake-up call to localities which have yet to eradicate drug trade and a challenge to already drug-free areas to maintain the official label. (Allen Doydora)