Baguio City, Philippines – At least 39 barangays or 3.3 percent of the 1,176 villages in the Cordillera region are still affected by illegal drugs, says the Regional Director of Police Regional Office – Cordillera, PBGEN Mafelino Bazar.
The figure is lesser than the 50 drug-affected barangays recorded in June last year.
Most of the drug-affected barangays, according to Bazar, are in Kalinga and Benguet.
The police official said composite members of the Regional Law Enforcement Coordinating Council (RLECC) are already on the move to address marijuana cultivation, especially in Tinglayan, Kalinga.
During their dialogue with community members, developmental projects such as livelihood provision and road networks were raised as means to stop residents from cultivating marijuana in some affected areas, the police official relayed.
The regional Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency already sought the help of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) to help in funding the projects suggested by the community.
Other departments like agriculture, public works, trade, science, and technology are joining frontline agencies in their fight to eradicate drugs in the region. With their collaboration, Bazar is confident that the drug-affected barangays would soon be cleared.
Last year, eradication operations of personnel resulted in the destruction of 4,004,024 pieces of fully grown marijuana plants and 1,618,375.76 grams of dried marijuana plants, while some 504 drug personalities were arrested in the region. Further, P1.14 billion worth of illegal drugs were confiscated, uprooted, and burned in 2022.
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