TACLOBAN CITY-At least 50 youths from Area 4 barangays of this city attended the first day of the two-day drug education activity held on Friday(August 18) at the Gymnasium of Brgy. 59 Picas, Sagkahan.

The activity which was held to inform the youth about the negative impacts of illegal drug use and involve them in efforts to combat it was organized by the city government through the City Youth Development Office in coordination with the Hiraya Foundation.
The attendees came from 14 barangays, namely 58, 59, 59-A, 59-B, 60, 60-A, 61, 62, 62-A, 62-B, 63, 64, 75, and 76.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Tacloban Office Officer-In-Charge and Investigation Agent III, Novemar H. Pinanonang, was the resource speaker for the event’s first day, which had topics on drug identification, the effects of drugs, and the salient provisions of R.A. 9165, and the important participation of the community in the problem of drugs, among others.

To highlight the “supply and demand reduction” efforts of the agency, Pinanonang also presented the drug situation of the city, which currently has 127 “drug-cleared” barangays and 11 “drug-free” barangays.

Based on the agency’s data from January to June of this year, it conducted 96 operations that resulted in the arrests of 127 suspects and 1 death, while 2 suspects remain at large.
Meanwhile, rescued during the operations were two male minors.

The overall total of the seized illegal drugs during the period totaled more than 676 grams of shabu and 209 grams of marijuana.

It was also learned that illegal drug shipments to the city pass through the 14 ports in the region.

According to the official, among the “ways forward” for the resolution of the problem are the active involvement of the youth in the anti-drug advocacy campaign in the communities and the continued implementation of the drug clearing programs in the barangays. (H.J.ROCA/TCIO)