PDEA-7: 2 barangays in Cebu City now drug-cleared

By: Pegeen Maisie M. Sararaña - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | May 22,2021 - 11:30 AM

Members of the Regional Oversight Committee in Barangay Drug Clearing convened on Friday, May 21. |Photo from Jonah John Rodriguez

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Barangays Sudlon 1 and Sto. Niño in Cebu City were given a drug-cleared status by the Regional Oversight Committee in Barangay Drug Clearing on Friday, May 21.

Jonah John Rodriguez, executive director of the Cebu City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (COSAP), said this was the first time in the city’s history that two of its barangays were given the status.

Cebu City, one of the highly urbanized cities in Cebu, has a total of 80 barangays.

The drug-cleared status for the two barangays was decided following a deliberation that involved Director Levi Ortiz III of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7) and officials of the Department of Interior Local Government (DILG),  Department of Health (DOH), Philippine National Police (PNP), and the concerned government units.

Ortiz sits as the committee chairperson.

Leiah Albiar, PDEA-7 spokesperson, said that achieving a drug -cleared status means that the barangays have identified the drug personalities in their respective areas and initiated interventions like the conduct of community-based drug rehabilitation programs to help in their recoveries.

The conduct of future anti-drug operations in the two barangays will not also result to a reversal of its current status. Instead, this will help in maintaining the status of these barangays, Albiar said.

“Dili buot pasabot nga kung drug-cleared na ang barangay, dili na mag operate ang mga police or ang PDEA. Kung naay maconduct nga anti-illegal drug operation, na maintain sa barangay ang drug-cleared status kay nakuha man ang drug personality. Dili ra ma revert or mawala ang drug-cleared status sa barangay,” Albiar said.

(It does not necessary mean that the police of PDEA will no longer operate in the drug-cleared barangays.  The barangays will get to keep its status despite the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations in their respective areas that will result to the arrest of a drug personality there.  But this will not cause the reversal of their drug-cleared status.)

Rodriguez and Councilor Philip Zafra, chairperson of the committee on peace and order of the Cebu City Council, are asking other barangays in the city to follow the examples set by barangays Sudlon 1 and Sto. Niño in their anti-drugs campaign.

Albiar said that a total of 11 barangays in Cebu City were recommended for the declaration of a drug-cleared status, but only two have been approved so far.

The declaration for the nine others remain on hold because of the need for their surrenderees to complete their rehabilitation schedule.

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TAGS: 'drug-cleared', barangay Sto. Nino, Barangay Sudlon 1, Cebu City Office for Substance

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