“It is high time to consider applying chemicals to stop marijuana from growing in perennial plantations. In the usual agriculture industry, herbicides and other weed killers are allowed and why not on marijuana, he said.
Year-in and year-out, uprooting and burning operations way back during the time of Fidel Ramos when he was the Philippine Constabulary Chief, were carried by law enforcement agencies. But up to the present, the same plantations are the subject of anti-drug eradication missions, Gumilab said.
Efforts have been done to discourage locals in few barangays from tending marijuana. Some of the interventions they proposed during barangay consultations for them to stop maintaining marijuana like communal irrigation systems, potable water systems, access roads, schools, among others were provided,” Gumilab said. However, he admitted they fail to lure them to engage in alternative livelihood activities preferring the easy cash from marijuana.
He shared that there are already more than a hundred locals involved in the cannabis trade who were jailed and yet they don’t abandon the illegal trade.
Using chemical to eradicate marijuana is the option he is proposing. If it succeeds, a law enforcement unit must be stationed on cleared plantations to discourage locals continue tending marijuana and to ensure that locals will never again develop new plantation areas, the mayor said.
Department of the Interior and Local Government Provincial Director Mayer Max Adong also shared his view of making plantation areas as pilot for development project through a convergence effort of concerned government agencies.
Through this approach, alternative livelihood activities are introduced through agricultural production technologies suited in the area making Tinglayan as the vegetable garden of Kalinga as it was known three decades ago. (JDP/PAB-PIA CAR, Kalinga)
By Peter A. Balocnit