How NCRPO chief plans to fight illegal drugs
MANILA – The chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said Friday he wants to keep Metro Manila barangays drug-free by letting policemen live in the barangays they are patrolling.
Speaking with TeleRadyo, Police Maj. Gen. Edgar Allan Okubo said the government must not turn its back on barangays that have been reportedly cleared of illegal drugs.
“Ang problema po kasi sa drugs ay pabalik-balik lang. Nagkakaroon po tayo mga barangay drug-clearing programs, nade-declare na po nating cleared ito. Yung mga identified na drug users ay sumailalim na rin po sa tinatawag na RWP o yung training sa recovery wellness programs nila. Ang problema po kasi sa ating gobyerno ay 'pag na-clear na ay pinapabayaan natin,” he said.
“Pero dito po sa programa nating Revitalized Police sa Barangay, ang mga members po natin ng RPSB ay naka-immerse doon. Doon na po sila nakatira. At patuloy na gagabayan at ime-maintain yung pagka-clear ng mga barangay to ensure na hindi ito maka-recover at hindi ito maapektuhan uli,” he explained.
(The problem with illegal drugs is they keep coming back. We have barangay drug-clearing programs, declare a barangay cleared, and put users through a recovery wellness program. Then we leave them behind. But under our Revitalized Police sa Barangay, our policemen live in the barangays and maintain the drug-free status of the area to ensure that it won’t be affected again.)
He said he seeks the help of other stakeholders to make sure the barangays’ needs for government services are met.
“Ang mga RPSB naming ay mag-conduct ng needs assessment surveys, at alamin po ano yung mga pagkukulang ng mga komunidad lalo na sa serbisyo ng ating gobyerno, livelihood, at iko-connect namin ito sa mga tinatawag na stakeholders, NGOs…para ihatid po at maibigay yung mga pangangailangan nilang training or serbisyo, and from that tutulungan at gagabayan rin po namin sila kung saan sila makakuha ng trabaho,” Okubo said.
“Yun po yung pinakamataas na objective namin para mabura na naming yung drug affectation sa barangay,” he said.
(Our RPSB conducts needs assessment surveys to see what the people need in terms of government services and livelihood, then we connect them to other stakeholders like NGOs so these needs can be met. From there, we will also help them find jobs.)
Metro Manila has a population of almost 13.5 million people, as of May 2020, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) launched last year its 'Buhay Ingatan, Droga’y Ayawan' (BIDA) program that aims to clamp down the demand in drugs through communities.
This is a 180-degree turn from the strategy of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr’s predecessor, former President Rodrigo Duterte, whose drug war killed thousands and was marked by alleged human rights violations.
--TeleRadyo, 26 May 2023