PDEA-6 declares 19 villages as ‘drug-free’

Members of the Regional Oversight Committee on Barangay Drug Clearing Program convene to assess the barangays qualified to be declared free from the influence of illegal drugs during a deliberation in Iloilo City last week. (Photo courtesy of PDEA-6)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – Nineteen barangays in Western Visayas have been declared free from the influence of illegal drugs.

This was based on the assessment made by the Regional Oversight Committee on Barangay Drug Clearing during the deliberation held in Iloilo City on March 24.

The new drug-cleared barangays from Negros Occidental were Barangay 1 in Cadiz City, Barangay Cambugsa in Hinigaran town, Barangay 11 in Victorias City, Barangay Central Tabao in Valladolid town, Barangays 2 (Poblacion), Manta-angan, and San Jose in E.B. Magalona town, and barangays in the cities of Bago, Talisay, La Carlota, Silay, and Victorias, and the towns of Hinoba-an, Isabela, Manapla, and Murcia.

According to Major Kenneth Jay Gratones, E.B. Magalona town police chief, 19 out of the total 23 barangays in the town have been cleared of illegal drugs since the start of the anti-drug-clearing program.

Gratones said these achievements are the results of the cooperation among all the sectors of E. B. Magalona and the community in general.

The police chief vowed to continue with their close collaboration with the counterpart agencies to clear the remaining four barangays from illegal drugs.

For Iloilo province, drug-cleared were Barangays Bacay, Bantud, Bolilao, Ilaya 2nd, Pagdugue, Paloc Bigque, and Pulao in Dumangas, while there were also some barangays in Pontevedra, Capiz.

Also, 341 barangays have retained their status as drug-cleared barangays having duly passed all parameters during the validation process, according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)- 6.

PDEA-6 will continue to closely collaborate with the concerned counterparts to increase the number of barangays to be cleared, as well as in the conduct of validation and verification to ensure that the drug-cleared status is maintained.