69.34% WV barangays are ‘drug-cleared’ – PDEA

By: Jennifer P. Rendon 

More barangays in Western Visayas were declared “drug-cleared” by the Regional Oversight Committee (ROC) of the Barangay Drug Clearing Program (BDCP).

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency 6 (PDEA-6) announced that 217 villages are considered free of illegal drugs during the 17th ROC deliberation on Oct. 29, 2019 at the DENR Regional Office VI Activity Center in Iloilo City.

Shey Tanaleon, PDEA-6 acting spokesperson, said the latest results means that 69.34 percent of barangays in Western Visayas are now drug-cleared.

PDEA-6, which chairs the ROC, said 325 barangays from 31 municipalities and cities in Region 6 applied for the drug-clearing status.

But only 215 barangays passed the deliberation process and were subsequently declared as drug-cleared.

The drug-cleared barangays per province and city are: Aklan-3, Antique-10, Capiz-35, Guimaras-5, Iloilo province-121, Iloilo City-26, Negros Occ.-13, and Bacolod City-2.

Once a barangay is considered certified drug-cleared, a certificate signed by the chief of police, mayor, and PDEA regional director is issued to the village.

PDEA-6 regional director Alex Tablate noted that the certification of more than half of the 4,051 Western Visayas barangays only showed the efficiency of the drug-clearing operations.

Tablate also 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 the “declaration” itself.

“Rather, it’s but how these barangays should execute and do their part in maintaining the status, thus preventing the same from reverting back to being drug-affected,” he said.

Tablate said they continue to monitor drug-cleared barangays.

“If we monitor the presence of drug personalities or trade present in that village, we will give them 30 days to act on it or report it to us,” he said.

If the barangay fails to comply within the prescribed time, its status might be reverted to drug-affected.

The ROC-BDCP conducts the deliberation and validation of barangays that aspire the drug-free tag.

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 to comply with the requirements and parameters set by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Regulation No. 3, Series of 2017 on Strengthening the Implementation of BDCP.

These requirements include:

  1. Non-availability of drug supply
  2. Absence of drug den, pusher, user
  3. Absence of clandestine drug laboratory
  4. Active involvement of barangay officials in anti-drug activities
  5. Existence of drug awareness, preventive education and information
  6. Existence of voluntary and compulsory drug treatment and rehabilitation processing desk