By Leonel Abasola

ANTI-DRUGS CAMPAIGN. President Ferdinand R. Marcos reports the government’s successes in fighting illegal drugs at the grassroots level on Monday (Jan. 8, 2021). In a video message, Marcos said the Philippine National Police has confiscated some PHP10.4 billion worth of narcotics and cleared large number of barangays of drug influence in 2023. (Screengrab)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Monday expressed elation over the government’s successes in the fight against illegal drugs at the grassroots level.

This, after the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported that it had confiscated some PHP10.4 billion worth of narcotics in 2023 and cleared large number of communities of drug influence.

“Na-ireport ng PNP na (The PNP reported that) we have successfully confiscated an estimated 10.4 billion pesos worth of illegal drugs in 2023. Masasabi natin na 27,968 na barangay ay na-ideklara na na (We can say that 27,968 barangays have been declared) drug-cleared,” President Marcos said in a video message.

“Magandang progreso ito sa grassroots level dahil ang mga barangay ay pag nasabi natin ay cleared ‘yan, madali nang i-monitor at maayos na ang patakbo doon. Siyempre, lagi rin natin tinitingnan ‘yung rehab, ‘yung prevention na hindi na pumasok ‘yung mga kababayan natin sa masasamang ugali tungkol dito sa drugs at kung sino man ang nasubo na ay bibigyan natin ng tulong sa pamamagitan ng mga (It is a good progress at the grassroots level because if a barangay has been cleared, it is easy to monitor and it is well-managed. Of course, we always look at prevention to make sure our people would not go into illegal drugs, if they are already victims, we will help them through) rehabilitation centers,” he added.

The national government has made inroads in addressing illegal drugs at the local level and worked with 50 provinces, 1,160 municipalities, and 30 cities in implementing the Anti-Drug Abuse Council (ADAC).

“Nakapag-pagawa tayo ng (We constructed) 74 in-patient treatment and rehabilitation facilities to provide a path to recovery for those who want to break free from their addiction,” Marcos said.

Aside from confiscating around PHP10.4 billion worth of illegal drugs and clearing more than 27,000 barangays of narcotics in 2023, the PNP said it also arrested 56,495 suspects after conducting more than 44,000 anti-illegal drug operations.

The recent government success was under President Marcos’s new approach to address illegal drugs by focusing on rehabilitation, reintegration, and preventive education programs specifically for the youth. (PND/PNA)