Another Iloilo town poised for drug-cleared declaration

By Jennifer P. Rendon

Concepcion, Iloilo will soon earn its drug-cleared tag, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency 6 (PDEA-6) said.

Located in the northern part of Iloilo, Concepcion will be the seventh town of the province to be declared as drug-cleared.

Ma. Graziella Tanaleon, PDEA-6 spokesperson, said the tentative schedule for her formal declaration is on Feb. 19, 2020.

Concepcion will be the first town to be declared drug-cleared by the Regional Oversight Committee (ROC) in 2020.

In November 2019, the ROC declared as drug-cleared four municipalities (Miagao, Igbaras, Guimbal, and Dingle) and one city (Passi City), all in Iloilo province.

The following month, Bingawan also got its drug-cleared badge.

Tanaleon said the ROC has approved a resolution for the declaration after all of 25 Concepcion barangays complied with the necessary requisites on Dec. 17, 2019.

For a barangay to be finally declared as “drug-cleared” or officially “unaffected,” it must comply with all the requirements and parameters set in 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

On Friday, Gretchen Bo-peep Giner, Balay Silangan focal person, met with Mayor Raul Banias of Concepcion to kick off preparations for the inauguration of the town’s Balay Silangan facility at Barangay Loong Training Center and Hall.

Balay Silangan is a facility under the national drug reformation program that offers temporary refuge to drug offenders who want to reform into self-sufficient and law-abiding members of society.

The groundwork for Balay Silangan is stipulated by Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Regulation Number 2, Series of 2018.

The local government unit (LGU) has to build or designate a Balay Silangan facility.

Meanwhile, a committee was already formed to spearhead initial planning for the drug-cleared declaration program.

Giner cascaded the concept of Balay Silangan to the 25 Barangay chairman, as well as to their SK Federation, before its formal opening on Feb. 19.

Tanaleon, on the other hand, emphasized the important role of the barangay officials and the community in sustaining their drug-cleared status.