BACOLOD CITY – Some 90.25 percent of the 4,051 barangays in Western Visayas have been cleared of illegal drugs as of May this year, data from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Barangay Drug Clearing Program (BDCP) showed on Friday.
In Negros Occidental, 67.89 percent of the 601 barangays are considered drug-cleared while in this capital city, 22.95 percent of the 61 barangays, also have gotten rid of illegal drugs.
Antique, which has 590 barangays, is 99.66 percent drug-cleared; Iloilo Province, 1,721 barangays, 98.55 percent; Capiz, 473 barangays, 91.12 percent; and Iloilo City, 180 barangays, 54.22 percent.
Both the 327 barangays of Aklan and the 98 barangays of Guimaras are 100 percent drug cleared.
“The drug situation in Western Visayas is currently on a manageable level as evidenced by our low drug (incident), the fifth in the country,” according to the overall assessment presented by PDEA-Negros Occidental provincial officer Jeanette Reyes during the joint second quarter meeting of the Provincial Peace and Order Council and the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council at the Capitol Social Hall here on Friday.
Reyes said the region’s manageable drug situation can be attributed to the “successful collaboration of all shareholders, leading to intensified anti-drug operations, high volume seizure of illegal drugs, sustainability efforts and increase in the number of drug-cleared barangays.”
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, however, noted a “slow increase” in the number of drug-cleared barangays in the province.
“From 65 percent to 67 percent. We have to strengthen that,” he added.
Reyes said the PDEA-Negros Occidental Provincial Office will continue to collaborate with the partner-agencies, particularly the local government units, to better serve the Negrenses. (PNA)