Tampakan seeks holistic approach to curb illegal drugs

A holistic approach in the eradication of illegal drugs particularly marijuana is being sought after a series of uprooting activities was held at the mountainous areas of Tampakan, Mayor Leonard Escobillo said.

During his recent meeting with law enforcers, Escobillo reiterated that there is a need to create a comprehensive plan to sustain their efforts to eliminate the problem.

Each year, the image of their town is being dragged by the continuous uprooting of marijuana plants in the mountainous hinterlands located at the quad boundary of Tampakan in South Cotabato, Columbio in Sultan Kudarat,  Kiblawanin Davao del Sur, and  Malungon in Sarangani province.

Earlier this month, at least 13,000 hills of marijuana plants with a DDB Value of  Php2.6 million were uprooted at  Sitio Bong Sbang, Brgy. Danlag of Tampakan by police operatives and the PDEA.

A ceremonial burning of the said contraband was conducted yesterday at Tampakan Plaza. Aside from Mayor Escobillo, the activity was attended by PDEA Regional Director Naravy Duquiatan, PNP PROXII Regional Director PBGen Michael John Dubria, Mr. Rudy Jimenea as  PADAC Permanent representative of Governor Reynaldo Tamayo, and SCPPO Provincial Director PCOL Jemuel Siason, DDB required witnesses and members of the media.

Mayor Escobillo in his message during the ceremonial burning of marijuana said that one of the plans he would like to implement is the rehabilitation of road networks from Tampakan to Kiblawan, Davao Del Sur.  He also called on the armed forces of the Philippines to help in the implementation since local government units do not have the capacity to implement said projects. One of the problems aside from the marijuana plantation is the existence of banditry in the area.

“We need to change the state of mind of the people, resolve cultural differences and communications barriers.” He said,

Once road networks are established, suitable crops can be planted in the area to help the locales have an alternative source of livelihood instead of cultivating marijuana plants. Despite the vastness of the area which comprises at least 30 to 40 km stretch from the first barangays in Tampakan to the last Barangay in Kiblawan, there is the need to do something about the problem.