87 villages in C. Visayas ‘cleared’ from drugs

87 villages in C. Visayas ‘cleared’ from drugs

CEBU CITY – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Monday said 87 more villages have recently been added to the list of areas declared as “drug-cleared.”

Jigger Montallana, PDEA’s Central Visayas regional director, said these villages have been cleared from drugs based on the decision of the Regional Oversight Committee on Barangay Drug Clearing (ROCBDC) during a blended meeting on April 13 to 14.

Cebu province posted the highest number of villages cleared of drugs at 41, while 22 were from Negros Oriental province, 16 from Bohol province, and eight from this capital city.

PDEA-7 spokesperson Leia Alcantara said the regional oversight committee will place the 87 barangays in its monitoring mechanism.

“Within one year after the declaration, mo-undergo og validation process ang mga (they should undergo validation process those) drug-cleared barangays, to assess if they were able to retain their status,” Alcantara told the Philippine News Agency in an interview.

The committee is composed of the PDEA, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Philippine National Police, and the Department of Health.

Drug-cleared areas are those with sustained implementation of barangay-level anti-illegal drug programs, which are being monitored also by the DILG through the yearly Anti-Drug Abuse Council (ADAC) audits.

As of Monday, of the 3,003 barangays in Central Visayas, 1,531 are now drug-cleared and 116 are drug-free, bringing the regional drug affectation down to 45 percent.

A drug-free village refers to an unaffected barangay that has been vetted and confirmed by (ROCBDC).

In Negros Oriental, PDEA provincial chief Elmer Ebona said 22 villages have been cleared of drugs.  They are Maningcao and Tubigon in Sibulan; Siapo, San Jose; Malalangsi and Sta. Agueda, Pamplona; Hagtu, Mabinay; Calupaan and Linantuyan, Guihulngan City; Aya, Biga-a, Busilac, Cangabo, Eli, Kasumandig, Manghulyawon, Manluminsag, Mapalasan, Martilo, Pitogo, Tala-on, and Talayong, all in La Libertad, and Malangsa in Vallehermoso.

The southernmost municipality of Basay was also declared as drug-cleared. (With a report from Mary Judaline Partlow, PNA)

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