Almost a fifth of the villages in the Philippines are considered drug-affected, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said Friday.
Arturo Cacdac Jr., PDEA Director General Undersecretary, said that 7,372 villages or 18 percent of the total 42,025 villages in the country are afflicted by drug menace.
He said the consolidated data came from validation of information gathered by PDEA and partner drug law enforcement agencies.
"A village is said to be drug-affected when there is a determined existence of drug user, pusher, manufacturer, marijuana cultivator or other drug personality regardless of number in the area," Cacdac explained.
Cacdac said that among all the drug-affected villages throughout the country, 30.7 percent of them were classified as slightly affected, 61.6 percent are moderately affected, while the remaining 7.7 percent are seriously affected.
Villages are considered slightly affected if there are identified drug users in the community but no known drug pushers or traffickers are operating in the area; moderately affected if at least one suspected drug pusher or trafficker is operating in the village; and seriously affected if at least one drug laboratory, den, dive or resort is suspected to exist in the community.