270 Manila villages will be ‘drug-free’ this year — Erap

The Daily Tribune| Written by: Pat C. Santos| February 07, 2017

Within the year, around 270 “narco-barangays” in Manila will be cleansed of illegal drugs, Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada said.

Estrada has ordered the Manila Police District (MPD) to initially target barangays that are “slightly-affected,” a police term for communities that have at least one drug user or pusher.

“Ang mission namin this year, 30 to 50 percent of our barangays will be identified as drug-free, which means zero presence of illegal drugs and abusers,” the two-term city mayor said. Manila has 896 barangays.

For the first quarter of 2017, MPD will pilot its anti-drug operations at 32 slightly-affected barangays, according to MPD director Chief Supt. Joel Coronel.

“With the all-out support of the city government and the barangays, we’ll be able to do that. Doable naman…hopefully, sa target natin,” Coronel said.

In lieu of the temporary suspension of the Philippine National Police’s Oplan Tokhang, Coronel said the MPD will conduct “ugnayan” or dialogs in every barangay to convince drug dependents to surrender for rehabilitation.

Estrada has launched “Sagip Buhay, Sagip Pangarap” community-based drug treatment program designed to aid the recovery of drug dependents.

Coronel said the city government’s active outreach programs will be enough to contain abusers and traffickers in these barangays.

He said “moderately-affected” barangays, or communities where two percent of the population are involved in drugs, will be next.

“We’ll shift to those moderately-affected barangays naman. And then up to time na ma-clearnatin ‘yung 896 barangays. Hopefully, we can clear as many as we can for this year,” he stated.