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Erap: 24 barangays in Manila now ‘drug-free’

Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada yesterday declared 24 barangays in the city as the first ever drug-free barangays in the capital city.
Estrada identified the certified drug-free barangays as barangays 875, 653, 661, 663-A, 681, 664-A, 695, 691, 309, 376, 377, 378, 309, 710, 715, 714, 709, 707, 701, 594, 589, 216-Zone 20, 224-Zone 21 and 202-A.
Each barangay received a “Certificate of Drug-Cleared Barangay” signed by Estrada and Manila Police District (MPD) Director Chief Supt. Joel Coronel.
“This is a momentous development in our continuous anti-drug campaign. We have finally cleared 24 barangays of illegal drugs,” the Manila mayor said.
Estrada also congratulated the chairmen of the 24 barangays for being the first of the 896 barangay chairmen in Manila that have successfully cleared their communities of the influence of drugs.
“Indeed, if you have the will, you can do almost anything. I hope that the rest of the barangays will soon follow and make these 24 barangays as their model and inspiration,” Estrada added.
Estrada reiterated that it has been his goal to make the City of Manila the first ever “drug-free city” in the Philippines. But without the support of the barangay officials, he admitted it would be close to impossible to achieve this feat.
“Let’s work together. ‘Di to kaya ng city hall at ng pulis. Kailangan lahat, lalo na kayong mga opisyal ng barangay,” he told the barangay chairmen.
The 24 certified drug-free barangays have satisfactorily complied with the conditions stated in the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Resolution No. 2, Series of 2007, according to Senior Supt. Carlo Manuel, chief of the MPD’s Police Community Relations Division.
The resolution, signed on June 6, 2007 by then DDB Chairman Anselmo Avenido Jr., provides the guidelines in the conduct of barangay drug-clearing operations in the local government units.
Manuel said Section 2 of the DDB resolution defines a “drug-cleared” barangay as a barangay that “is previously drug affected and subjected to drug-clearing operations and declared free from any illegal drug activities.”
To achieve the “drug-cleared” status, the barangay should satisfy the specific parameters stated in the resolution, among which are: non-availability of drug supply; absence of drug transit/transshipment activity; absence of clandestine drug laboratory; absence of clandestine drug warehouse; and absence of drug pusher, drug user, protector/coddler, and financier.
“The drug-free barangay should have an active and functioning BADAC (Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council) that is taking the lead in the drug-clearing operations in the neighborhood,” Manuel pointed out.
Generally, he explained a barangay is declared “drug-free” once BADAC, in cooperation with the police, has successfully arrested, neutralized, or compelled to surrender the personalities or suspects included in its drug watch list.
For his part, Coronel said they hope to make at least 10 percent of the city’s 896 barangays “drug-free” by the end of the year.
“It is our intention to least achieve our goal…at least 10 percent of all Manila barangays will be drug-free, that’s 90 barangays by the end of 2017…so we’ll sustain this,” he said.

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