By: Jennifer P. Rendon
More than half of the 180 barangays in Iloilo City have submitted their intention to receive the drug-cleared badge.
Alex Tablate, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency 6 (PDEA-6) regional director, confirmed that 101 Iloilo City villages want to be declared as drug-cleared areas.
Most of these villages are in Jaro and City Proper districts with 33 barangays each, Molo and Arevalo (11 each), Mandurriao and La Paz (6 each), and one barangay in Lapuz.
Tablate said the application will be discussed during the 18th Regional Oversight Committee on Drug Clearing in Dec. 17, 2019.
Tablate said most of these barangays were considered as moderately-affected villages.
Eight barangays were first to be declared drug-cleared in Iloilo City in May 2018. An additional 26 barangays followed in October 2019.
Tablate said almost all these barangays were slightly-affected drug barangays.
During the 17th ROC deliberation of the Barangay Drug Clearing Program (BDCP), 217 barangays were declared free from drug affectation.
The October 2019 addition brought the total drug-cleared, or those dubbed as “unaffected,” villages in Region 6 to 69.34 percent.
Tablate earlier said that the certification of more than half of the 4,051 Western Visayas barangays only showed the efficiency of the drug-clearing operations.
Again, Tablate stressed the importance of drug clearing in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.
“The barangay is the frontline of our campaign and very much challenged when it comes to our efforts against illegal drugs,” he said.
But Tablate said the most critical part is actually not by the “declaration” itself.
“Rather, it’s but how these barangays should execute and do its part in maintaining said status, thus preventing the same from reverting back to being “affected,” he said.
The ROC-BDCP is the one doing the deliberation and validation.
The BDCP is a multi-agency group composed of PDEA, Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Department of Health (DOH), as well as the respective local chief executives (LCEs) that have jurisdiction of these barangays.
For a barangay to be finally declared as “drug-cleared” or officially “unaffected,” they have complied with all the requirements and parameters set forth under DDB Regulation No. 3, Series of 2017 on Strengthening the Implementation of BDCP.
These requirements include:
- Non-availability of drug supply
- Absence of drug den, pusher, user
- Absence of clandestine drug laboratory
- Active involvement of barangay officials in anti-drug activities
- Existence of drug awareness, preventive education and information
- Existence of voluntary and compulsory drug treatment and rehabilitation processing desk
These requirements are mandated by Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 3 series of 2017.