PDEA-7 declares 120 Cebu villages as ‘drug-cleared’
ONE hundred twenty (120) barangays from 22 towns in Cebu province were declared “drug-cleared” by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7) during ceremonies on Tuesday.
And with the declaration came big shoes to fill as they will now have to strive to maintain the status conferred to them after meeting stringent requirements and assessments conducted by different agencies.
PDEA-7 Director Yogi Filemon Ruiz chairs the oversight committee that assessed and monitored the barangays with the regional director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG-7) as vice-chair. Committee members are officials of the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO), Department of Health (DOH-7) and the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office (CPADAO).
CPADAO head Ivy Meca explained that the barangays will be continually monitored to ensure that they remain free of drugs; otherwise, their drug-cleared status will be revoked by the oversight committee.
Under Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) guidelines, the barangays had to comply with 14 parameters including the absence of drug pushers, users, and laboratories in their area before they can be declared as drug-cleared.
One of the most important parameters, said Ruiz, is the absence of any drug personality in the barangay. Once proven that a drug-cleared barangay again had a drug pusher or user, it will have 30 days to explain and conduct interventions like house-to-house visits or report this directly to the police for action.
“If they cannot conduct an intervention within 30 days, a case may be filed against them,” Ruiz said.
The drug-cleared status of the villages does not come with any cash incentives aside from the recognition of the barangay’s effort in eradicating illegal drug activities in their area.
Governor Hilario Davide III said he hoped that the towns’ campaign against illegal drugs would continue despite the challenges that they may face in maintaining their status as “drug-cleared.”
“It’s a challenge to the barangays, to the barangay officials and also to the mayors where these barangays are situated,” Davide said.
The 22 municipalities with drug-cleared barangays are Sibonga, Argao, Dalaguete, Alcoy, Boljoon, Santander, Samboan, Balamban, Tabogon, San
Remigio, Tabuelan, Borbon, Catmon, Sogod, San Francisco, Poro, Tudela, Dumanjug, Ronda, Alcantara, Moalboal, and Ginatilan. /with Ray Chen S. Bahinting, SU Intern
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