PDEA-6: Almost 75% of WV barangays now ‘drug-cleared’

PDEA-6 Director Alex Tablate

By: Jennifer P. Rendon

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency 6 (PDEA-6) will end the year with almost 75 percent of barangays in Western Visayas already declared as “drug-cleared.”

Alex Tablate, PDEA-6 officer-in-charge, said 3,018 of 4,051 barangays were formally declared as drug-free during the 18th Regional Oversight Committee deliberation on Dec. 17, 2019 at the Westown Hotel in Iloilo City.

Tablate leads the ROC which is also composed of the Philippine National Police, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Department of Health (DOH).

Records showed that 98.31 percent of barangays in Antique were already drug-cleared while Aklan is at 90.83 percent; Iloilo, 88.50 percent; Guimaras, 75.71; Capiz, 64.48; Iloilo City, 33.89; Negros Occidental, 28.29; and Bacolod City, 13.12.

The latest percentage was reached after 142  barangays successfully passed the deliberation process and were subsequently declared as “drug-cleared” or “officially unaffected” by illegal drugs.

Tablate underscored the importance of maintaining and sustaining the drug-cleared status of the barangays and to establish Balay Silangan facilities.

Balay Silangan is a facility under the national drug reformation program which offers temporary refuge with the objective of reforming drug offenders into self-sufficient and law-abiding members of society.

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

The local government unit (LGU) has to build their own Balay Silangan facility but Tablate clarified that there’s no need for building of a new structure.

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

On December 20, Bingawan town in Iloilo will also get the same badge.

The region now has four Balay Silangan facilities.

But Tablate noted that more are set to rise by first quarter of next year.

He also encouraged the Local Government Units to stay steadfast and vigilant in complying with the parameters set forth by DDB Regulation No. 3 series of 2017 so as to lower the percentage of affection in barangays and to finally declare Western Visayas as drug-cleared.