DAGUPAN CITY — The Dagupan police announced that at least five more villages are set to be declared drug-free here in the next few days, a move that could raise the number of drug-cleared villages in the city to 26 before the end of the year.
Supt. Neil Miro, chief of police of Dagupan City, said this could put to 83 percent the number of drug-cleared barangays in the city from the total 31 in the whole city.
Miro, however, still refused to name the five barangays slated to be cleared in the next few days till all the papers are signed by their respective Barangay Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs) before these are submitted for final certification by Mayor Belen Fernandez, chair of the City Drug Abuse Coordinating Council (CADACC).
The 21 villages earlier declared drug-free are Mamalingling, Salisay, Tebeng, Pogo Grande, Mangin, Salapingao, Barangay IV, Lomboy, Poblacion Oeste, Calmay, Caranglaan, Malued, Bacayao Sur, Bacayao Norte, Bacayao Sur, Lasip Chico, Bonuan Binloc, Tambac and Lucao.
“With a few more efforts to be exerted, we can expect the whole of Dagupan to be drug-free soon”, he said, adding that only five villages, three of which are considered as hot spots on illegal drugs, are now yet to be cleared.
He added that there are 50 more drug personalities being sought in the barangays that have not yet been cleared, from the original 2,000 at the start of the war on drugs, and whose number was reduced later to 1,500.
Miro identified Barangays Bonuan Gueset, Pantal and Bonuan Boquig as still the most problematic barangays as far as the drug menace is concerned because of their big population, including their location and also considering the fact that Pantal is the center of the whole of Dagupan.
“Personally, I believe we can make Dagupan City 100 percent drug-free by the end of the year but there is nothing to rush because we want to make it sure that once we declare a village drug-free, their people would not go back to their old vice again.
So far, not one of the 21 villages declared as drug-free, had gone back to drugs, Miro said.
Meanwhile, Marcelino Fernandez, president of the Federation of Barangay Councils and ex-officio city councilor, said he is happy that many barangays in Dagupan, including his own, Lucao, are now declared-drug free.
He attributed this to the aggressive efforts of the local police headed by Supt. Miro and the barangay officials themselves who all went out of their way to ensure that drug pushing and use in many parts of the city will be stopped.
He also thanked the Barangay Health Workers (BHWs), Barangay Service Point Officers (BSPOs) and other concerned people in the community for helping their village officials identify drug dependents, users and pushers who need to surrender and undergo rehabilitation. Leonardo Micua/PNA-northboundasia.com