Crime rate down, 12k bgys drug free

CRIME volume in the country has dipped by 11 percent while around 12,000 barangays are now drug-free, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) reported yesterday.

According to Secretary Eduardo Año, this accomplishment is a result of the “participatory governance” between the government and the local government units (LGUs), citizens and other stakeholders that marks President Duterte’s third year in office.

“Malaking bahagi kayo sa naging tagumpay ng mas pinaigting  na peace and order councils (POCs), anti-drug abuse councils (ADACs) at people’s law enforcement board (PLEB) sa labang tuluyan nang tapusin ang mga problema ng ating lipunan,” Año said during the Pre-SONA (State of the Nation Address) forum of the Participatory Governance Cluster (PGC) held in Cebu City.

The DILG chief said that with the help and support of local based institutions like the POCs, ADACs, and PLEB, “law enforcement agencies successfully re-calibrated their anti-criminality operations” leading to a decrease in the crime volume from 488,644 for the period of July 2017 to June 2018 to 438,96 for the same period in 2018-2019.

“Through our partnership, we have proven that the government actually walks its talk and our efforts in participatory governance bear fruit and do not fall into the void of empty words and ineffective thrusts,” he said.

In the campaign against illegal drugs, the DILG chief proudly said that 12,099 barangays have already been declared drug-free with the backing and support of a vigilant citizenry. 

Similarly, there are now 172 drug-free jail facilities as compared to only 74 in 2018 due to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology’s intensified efforts to clear jails of illegal substances.

“Nakamit natin ang tagumpay na ito dahil sa pinaigting na operasyon ng ating mga alagad ng batas at sa suporta ng mga mamamayan na siyang pinagmumulan ng mga impormasyon tungkol sa iligal na droga,”  Año said.

But more than the recorded rise in the number of offenders arrested and the number of barangays cleared of illegal drugs, Año said that the government finds more meaningful success “in seeing former pushers and users entrust their future to us through our rehabilitation programs.”

“We wanted to give the 1.3 million drug surrenderers a second chance in life so we took an active stance in the Balay Silangan Program, and institutionalized the Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation Program in all LGUs,” he said.

Año, together with Department of Budget and Management (DBM) officer-in-charge Janet Abuel, presented the accomplishments of the PGC in Cebu during the Pre-SONA forum 2019 dubbed “Tatak ng Pagbabago: Patuloy na Malasakit at Pagkakaisa”. The DILG and DBM are co-chairpersons of the PGC.

PGC is one of the six clusters organized by the President through Executive Order 24 which aims to enhance citizen participation in government processes.