PNP: Over 26,000 barangays previously infested with illegal drugs now cleared

A total of 26,244 barangays that were initially identified as illegal drugs affected were already cleared of drug influence, the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported on Tuesday, Nov. 22.

PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, Jr. said the drug-cleared barangays represent 74.23 percent of the total of 35,356 barangays tagged as drug-affected over the years.

The Philippines has a total of 42,046 barangays.

Azurin said the 26,244 barangays were cleared from July 2016 to Nov. 1 this year, including the 403 barangays which were cleared from July 1 to November 1 this year under the current administration.

"This proves that the whole of nation approach against illegal drugs is effective," said Azurin.

A barangay is classified as “affected” if there is presence of a Person Who Used Drugs (PWUDs); moderately affected if there’s a presence of drug pushers and Person Who Used Drugs (PWUDs); and seriously affected if there is a reported existence of any of the following: clandestine drug laboratory, warehouse, marijuana plantation, and drug den/”tiangge”, drug trafficking or smuggling activities, and drug personalities such as users, pushers, financiers, protectors, cultivators, and manufacturers.

Of the 35,356 drug-affected barangays, a total of 17,079 are classified as slightly affected while a total of 17,860 are moderately affected.

On the other hand, a total of 417 barangays are classified as seriously affected.

Cagayan Valley region has the highest recorded drug cleared barangay with 94.41 percent, followed by Cordillera Region at 94.36 percent, MIMAROPA (Mindoro Oriental and Occidental, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) at 93.95 percent, Eastern Visayas at 93.09 percent, and Central Mindanao at 88.25 percent.