CEBU, Philippines — THIRTY EIGHT more barangays in Central Visayas have been declared as drug-cleared by the Regional Oversight Committee on Barangay Drug Clearing Program bringing to 1,167 the total drug-cleared barangays in the region as of April this year.
Leia Albiar, spokesperson of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-7, said the declaration was done during the hybrid meeting of the members of the committee on April 25, 2022.
The additional drug-cleared barangays include Lusaran and Kinasang-an in Cebu City and Tabok, Casili, Opao, and Paknaan in Mandaue City. There were also 25 drug-free barangays and 17 drug-cleared in Siquijor; 144 drug-cleared barangays from Cebu Province; and 27 drug-cleared from Negros Oriental. As of this writing, 116 barangays in the region have been assessed as drug-free.
“Anti-illegal drug efforts in barangays declared as drug-cleared will not stop even when these barangays are declared as such because the Barangay Drug Clearing Program is a continuing process," said Levi Ortiz, PDEA-7 regional director and chairman of the oversight committee.
"Part of the program is sustainability, which aims to help make the barangays become drug-resistant and self-policing,” he added.
Resolution No. 4 of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) issued in 2021 defines a drug-cleared barangay as previously affected by illegal drugs but was subjected to Barangay Drug Clearing Program (BDCP) and declared as cleared by the ROCBD.
A “drug-free barangay” is an unaffected barangay (which has never been plagued or beset by any illegal drug activity) that has been vetted and confirmed by the ROCBDC.
BDCP is a holistic anti-illegal drug strategy aimed at reducing the drug affectation in the country by taking away drugs from the people, protecting the people from the lures of illegal drugs, and minimizing the impact of the drug problem in the community by integrating the support of duty bearers, local leaders, and other stakeholders.
Mayor Michael “Mike” Rama has extended his congratulations to the latest addition of drug-cleared barangays in the city.
He also thanked the City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (COSAP) as well as law enforcement agencies for relentlessly fighting against illegal drugs.
COSAP head Jonah John Rodriguez said the clearing of Lusaran ang Kinasang-an was a collaborative effort of all concerned agencies.
“Rest assured, as long as naa pa mi sa COSAP, madungagan pa ang mga barangays nga ma-declared as drug-cleared,” Rodriguez said.
Cebu City now has 13 of its 80 barangays as drug-cleared. — Caecent No-ot Magsumbol, FPL (FREEMAN)