By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – The Regional Oversight Committee on Dangerous Drugs has cleared 13 villages in Negros Occidental and one here from the proliferation and influence of illegal drugs.
The assessment and evaluation of the 84 candidate villages for drug-clearing was conducted by the oversight committee led by PDEA-6 director Edgar Apalla, assisted by Director Donelyn Hemedez, together with Police Lt. Col. Victorino Romanillos Jr., officer-in-charge of Police Regional Community Affairs and Development Division (RCADD) of Police Regional Office (PRO)-6; Mr. John Richard Lapascua, Senior Health Program Officer of the Department of Health (DOH)-6; and Ms. Karen Joy Mansuelo of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-6 last Monday.
Shey Tanaleon, information officer of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-6, said the cleared villages included four in Bago City; one in Cadiz City; two each in Candoni and Ilog towns; one each in Hinigaran town, Isabela town, Sipalay City, and Talisay City; and one in this city.
These villages were Balingasag, Dulao, Napoles, and Tabunan in Bago City; Mabini in Cadiz City; Caningay and Gatuslao in Candoni town; Quiwi in Hinigaran town; II Poblacion and Calubang in Ilog town; San Agustin in Isabela town; 5 Poblacion in Sipalay City; and Zone 2 in Talisay City; and Barangay 32 here.
Tanaleon said the 14 villages were included in the 51 barangays in Western Visayas that were recently declared drug-free.
Tanaleon said a total of 3,332 out of 4,051 villages in the region were already cleared from illegal drugs.
Of the 3,332 villages, 247 were from the province, she added.
PDEA-6 will continue to closely collaborate with the concerned counterparts to increase the number of barangays to be cleared through proper implementation of Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Regulation No. 3, series of 2017 and the Omnibus Procedures in declaring drug affected barangays as drug-cleared.
Tanaleon said monitoring will be conducted next to ensure that these villages remain free from the existence of illegal drugs.