PDEA declares 2 Pangasinan towns as drug-cleared

By Hilda Austria

November 23, 2023, 8:14 pm

MALASIQUI, Pangasinan – The municipalities of Agno and Bautista in Pangasinan have been declared drug-cleared by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency’s (PDEA) regional committee, leaving only 12 of the province’s 48 municipalities and cities to be cleared.

In a phone interview on Thursday, PDEA-Pangasinan director Retchie Camacho said the two towns passed the deliberations, held Tuesday in Tubao, La Union, for having complied with the requirements and their villages have been cleared of illegal drug activities and personalities.

Camacho also disclosed that eight villages from San Carlos City, San Quintin and Manaoag towns were also declared drug-cleared by the PDEA regional committee.

He said there are now 1,160 total cleared villages out of the 1,272 drug-affected villages.

“There remain 8.8 percent that need to be cleared in the entire province but we see that the local government units (LGUs) are very supportive and we are here to guide them in achieving their drug-cleared status,” he said.

Camacho said continuous monitoring will be made even in the drug-cleared localities.

Meanwhile, the 10th Balay Silangan reformation center in Pangasinan was opened in Alaminos City on Tuesday.

“Alaminos City has been declared drug-free since 2017 but the city government is very supportive in the fight against illegal drugs, hence they put up their own Balay Silangan, which can be used by other municipalities for their street level pushers as long as they have a memorandum of agreement with Alaminos City government,” Camacho said.

Other Balay Silangan facilities are operating in San Carlos City and the towns of Sison, Basista, Asingan, Umingan, San Fabian, Balungao, Manaoag and San Quintin.

Camacho said local government units that do not have the capacity to put up their own Balay Silangan facilities may opt to enter into a memorandum of agreement with other LGUs to accommodate their surrenderers and begin the process of drug-clearing their localities. (PNA)