MATUGUINAO, Samar- This interior town has only 43 individuals, four of them were women, who voluntarily surrendered for using methamphetamine hydrochloride or popularly known as shabu.
And almost all of them are ‘habal-habal’ drivers who have access to the illegal drugs, town Mayor Melissa de la Cruz said in an interview.
Habal-Habal is a motorcycle modified to accommodate more than two passengers and is considered as the most common public transport in provinces as it can stand the rough, steep terrain and narrow roads, such as the mountains.
“The drivers have the access to illegal drug traders that is why they are the most vulnerable to that vice,” the town mayor said.
It was learned from de la Cruz that the existence of shabu on the town’s interior barangays are not heard of as drug users are mostly living at the town center.
Of the 20 barangays of the town (population: 7,288), only two are located at its center, Maduroto and Mabuligon.
Senior Inspector Anthony Angcay, town police chief, said that interior barangays are not affected by the illegal drug trade because members of communist group New People’s Army will hunt illegal drug users.
“The town is now drug-free because the one whom illegal drug users buy the illegal drugs was already arrested by the police,” he said.
Mayor de la Cruz said that she is thankful that President Rodrigo Duterte launched this anti-illegal drug campaign.
She added that with the elimination of shabu in her town, commission of crimes related to the illegal drugs could be avoided.
The mayor added that her administration is working closely with the local police to help the drug surrenderees recover from the illegal drug abuse and turn them again as productive residents of the town. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)