DUMAGUETE CITY – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) here said 71 out of the 557 barangays in Negros Oriental are now cleared of the illegal drug problem.
PDEA agent Francisfil Tangeres said in a “Kapihan sa PIA” forum on Tuesday, the barangays are in Ayungon (four); Bais City (13); Bayawan City (nine); Bindoy (eight); Canlaon City (four); Dumaguete City (three); Manjuyod (eight); and Sta. Catalina (22).
The names of these villages were not made available during the forum.
Tangeres said the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has slowed down their drug-clearing operations in the barangays but they are now focusing on the health crisis.
The activities of drug users and pushers also slackened, particularly during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), as only those exempted from restricted movement were allowed to leave their homes, he noted.
He also said in reply to a barangay official’s query that despite the quarantine restrictions, the illegal drug trade continued but it declined compared to the previous year.
“Naay ginagmay as compared to last year pero di man gud perfect ang system, malutsan lang gihapon ta (There is still small-scale activity compared to last year but the system is not perfect and so it is not that impenetrable),” he said.
The forum was held in line with this year’s observance of National Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Week from Nov. 15 to 21, with the theme “Better Knowledge for Better Care”. (PNA)