ILOILO CITY – Only 353 out of the 4,051 barangays in Western Visayas have yet to be declared as drug-cleared, data from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) showed.
PDEA information officer, Ma. Graziella B. Tanaleon, said Thursday they look forward to reducing the number once the Regional Oversight Committee finishes the last deliberation for the Barangay Drug Clearing Program this year, tentatively set in Iloilo City on Dec. 14.
“We are looking into 40 barangays. We are waiting for clearance from other committee members. Our last deliberation was August and hoping that before this year ends, we can declare additional drug-cleared barangays,” she said in an interview.
The 40 barangays are from Negros Occidental, Bacolod City, Capiz, and Iloilo.
The 353 barangays that have yet to be cleared are in Antique with 2; Iloilo province, 21; Capiz, 38; Negros Occidental, 160; Iloilo City, 86, and Bacolod City, 46.
Tanaleon said they continue to hold capability training with anti-drug abuse councils (ADACs) because the application for drug clearing emanates from ADACs in barangays.
As of Thursday, 91.25 percent, equivalent to 3,698 barangays, have been cleared of illegal drugs.
Tanaleon said they are very meticulous in making sure that barangays are compliant with the provisions of the Dangerous Drugs Board on the parameters for drug clearing.
She said those left to be cleared still have drug personalities to be rehabilitated or yet to graduate from the community-based rehabilitation program, or they have small-time pushers yet to complete their reformation program at the Balay Silangan.
“Our validation of drug personalities, together with our intelligence units, is still ongoing because we still have pending anti-drug operations,” she said. (PNA)