PDEA-7: 71 barangays in NegOr now ‘drug-free’
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The declaration of a drug-free status is not constant.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7) said that the drug-free status which they gave to 71 of the 557 barangays in Negros Oriental under the agency’s Barangay Drug Clearing Program (BDCP) could change anytime and if proven that illegal drugs again proliferate in these areas.
In Central Visayas, PDEA-7 has so far issued a drug-free status to a total of 855 barangays.
Leia Albiar, the PDEA-7 spokesperson, said that the barangay clearing program is a process that does not end after a barangay is declared as drug-free. Its implementation is also being monitored by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“Prone raba ni ma misunderstand ang drug clearing. If ang barangay ma declare as drug cleared, subject na sya for monitoring and revalidation if namaintain ba ang status. Kay if wala ma maintain sa barangay, for example, naay nisulod nga drug personality and ila gipasagdan, pwede ma revoke ang status,” said Albiar.
(Our drug clearing program is prone to misunderstanding. Barangays declared as drug-free are still subject to monitoring and revalidation to determine if they were able to maintain the status. If barangay officials, for example, would fail to monitor the activities of a drug personality, this could lead to the revocation of the status.)
To maintain their status, PDEA-7 is asking barangay officials to continue to implement anti-drugs intervention that includes the conduct of advocacy seminars, cooperate with law enforcers in the conduct of illegal drug operations, and support programs and activities that are designed to help in the rehabilitation of surrenderers.
Albiar said that they are also organizing ongoing seminars in the neighboring provinces of Cebu and Bohol for those barangays with pending applications for the issuance of a drug-cleared status.
Being on the grassroots, Albiar said, barangay officials play an important role in the success of the government’s anti-drug campaign.
“The barangays are a rich repository of very useful information kung kinsa ni ang mga illegal drug personalities. Ang mga tao sa mga barangays ang mas nakahibalo kinsa ning mga ilegalista sa ilang lugar, as evidenced by many successful operations nato nga nagstart sa mga sumbong sa brgy officials and concerned citizens,” she said.
(The barangays are a rich repository of very useful information especially on the identity of illegal drug personalities. Residents especially know who are engaged in illegal activities, as evidenced by many successful operations that we’ve had in the past which start from information coming from barangay officials and concerned citizens.)
Albiar said that because they are in the frontline, it is important for barangay officials to understand their role in PDEA-7’s BDCP. / dcb
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