Governor Arthur Yap during his first anti-drug abuse council meeting was eager to find out if Bohol has improved in its campaign against the narcotics trade in the past months but he was left wanting after the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) failed to give an update on the province’s current ranking on drug affectation at the national scale.
Yap, apparently irked by the lack of information, called out PDEA Bohol chief Joseph Theodore Atila and demanded for data that would indicate if Bohol remains to be among the top provinces in the country which have the most number of drug-affected barangays.
“Hindi pwede ‘yan! You are the PDEA, you don’t know where we are? You’re unaware whether we’re high or low. Sus!” Yap said during the Provincial Peace and Order Council and Anti-Drug Abuse Council meeting at the Capitol on Wednesday.
The governor’s statement was said in reference to a 2018 data which indicated that Bohol ranked fifth nationwide in terms of barangay drug affectation with 1,092 out of the 1,109 villages of the province considered as drug-affected.
According to Yap, new figures “mean nothing” without comparison to related figures.
Yap who assumed office in July said that knowing the province’s current status is the first step in the government’s efforts to curb drug trade.
“When I get out of this room. The media would ask ‘you came from the peace and order council meeting, according to them nasaan tayo sa drugs?’ Anong isasagot ko?” he said.
For his part, Atila explained that the local PDEA office submits its figures to the agency’s national office which collates nationwide data and later reports on a province’s standing in the country.
“We send to the regional office our data and then the national office will collate and analyze our standing,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Bohol Provincial Police Office reported that it has arrested 138 individuals for drug charges and confiscated illegal drugs worth P8.9 million from August to September 10, 2019.
BPPO operations chief Major Norman Nuez said that the latest figures for the third quarter were higher than those of previous quarters in 2019.
Data from the BPPO indicated that it conducted in August 100 anti-drug operations, the highest for the entire year so far. Average number of anti-drug operations conducted from January to July is at 31 per month. (R. Tutas)