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PDEA-8 declares Baybay a drug-cleared city

Lalaine Jimenea (The Freeman) - April 5, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Mayor Carmen Cari was elated when the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Region 8 declared Baybay City as drug-cleared.

PDEA can only declare a city or municipality “drug-cleared” when it is proven that 100 percent of its barangays is drug-free, and its officials have put in place strategies to prevent drug re-entry, while instilling awareness among residents through anti-drug programs.

Mayor Cari thanked the chairpersons and support forces of Baybay’s 92 barangays for their vital role in the city’s achievement. “I am very happy. Sobra!, We could not have gotten this without you,” she told the barangay officials.

“Being declared ‘drug-cleared’ is one of the most coveted achievements by a local government unit, under the Duterte administration,” the mayor told The Freeman.

Representative Jose Carlos Cari (5th district, Leyte), who was present during the declaration with PDEA-8 Regional Director Edgar Jubay, also congratulated the barangay chairmen for their cooperation to the administration’s anti-drug programs. He urged them to work harder to maintain and sustain the status.

Each of the barangay chairmen of Baybay were conferred with a certificate from the PDEA, the police, and the Department of Interior and Local Government.

Special certificates were also given to 14 barangays for remaining “unaffected” of drugs since: Zone 8, Zone 16, Ambacan, Ampihanon, Balao, Bubon, Kan-ipa, Ciabu, Cabatuan, Lintaon, Pansagan, Sabang, Sta. Cruz, Villa, and Mag-aso.

Leyte Governor Dominic Petilla congratulated the barangay chairmen and their support forces for the feat. He said that besides Baybay City, 13 towns in Leyte province were already declared “drug-cleared.” He credited Baybay’s feat to Mayor Cari, Vice Mayor Michael Cari, city councilors, Baybay City Police chief Ramil Amodia, and other city officials, for supporting grassroot-based initiatives in resolving the drug menace.

Chief Superintendent Gilbert Cruz, director of the Police Regional Office-8, said the police would continue to monitor the barangays. He also warned barangay officials from discriminating against those who surrendered, saying they must be given a second chance to reintegrate with mainstream society.

Baybay City had 2,252 surrenderers, 98 were assessed as “high risk” or needing rehabilitation in a facility. More than 40 of these “high risk” users were already reformed, authorities said.

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