S. Leyte declared drug-free province
Primo A. Cayubit (The Freeman) - April 22, 2018 - 12:00am

PALO, LEYTE, Philippines —The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) had officially declared Southern Leyte as a drug-free province in Region 8.

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino, in his speech during the inauguration of the PDEA-Region 8 office building in Palo town of Leyte last April 18, said PDEA held at the capital city of Maasin a ceremony of the declaration of Southern Leyte as drug-free province.

Aquino said Southern Leyte is the third province in the country to be declared drug-free, the others of which are Batanes and Romblon. Another province in Eastern Visayas will be declared next soon.

Aquino said there are 2,552 drug-affected barangays in Region-8, and 1,618 have been cleared already representing 63 percent of the total barangays.

The remaining 934 barangays are set to be cleared until 2022, which means clearing 266 barangays per year or 22 per month, he said.

Aquino said he is confident that PDEA-8 will attain in clearing the remaining barangays of drugs until 2022. “I am putting this challenge to PDEA-8. And I feel and I am positive that eventually in 2022 they should have cleared all barangays in Region 8,” he said..

Region-8 has seven cities, 136 municipalities and 4,390 barangays.

Southern Leyte, which is a lone congressional district, has Maasin as the lone component city and at the same time its provincial capital.   The province has 18 municipalities, 500 barangays and a population of 421,750 according to the 2015 census. (FREEMAN)

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