PDEA-7 expects more drug-cleared barangays with new DDB regulation
Roblen Mata Repdos of Carcar City fell into the hands of anti-drug operatives in a buy-bust operation on April 8, 2020. The suspect yielded more than P31 million worth of suspected shabu. |Photo from the Talisay City Police Station.
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-) is expecting more barangays to attain drug-cleared status upon the implementation of the New Dangerous Drugs Board regulation.
The new regulation focuses on the consistent function of the Barangay Drug Clearing Program (BDCP).
Leia Albiar, PDEA-7 spokesperson, said that apart from more barangays to be drug-cleared, they also anticipate sustainability of BDCP in all barangays in Central Visayas as they continue to clamp illegal drug operations in the region.
“We anticipate that more barangays will be able to attain the drug-cleared status, especially with the institutionalization of intervention programs for drug users and qualified drug pushers who want to start a new life. We also anticipate the sustainability of the program to ensure that barangays with drug-cleared status will be able to maintain their status and that we can continue our crusade against illegal drugs even with the change in administration,” Albiar said.
PDEA Director, General Wilkins Villanueva, recently said that the new DDB regulation will help ensure that BDCP remains ‘resolute’. Villanueva said that this new regulation will repeal DDB Regulation No. 3 Series of 2017 or the Strengthening the Implementation of the Barangay Drug Clearing Program. Among the salient features of this new regulation covers the following:
- Provides an emphasis on the provision of appropriate intervention to identified Persons Who Use Drugs (PWUDs), and qualified pushers;
- Provides guidelines and procedures, including vetting and confirmation, for the declaration of drug-affected into drug-cleared barangay, municipality, city, and province;
- Balay Silangan as the sole intervention or reformation program for qualified drug pushers;
- Conducts drug tests on rehabilitated PWUDs and drug reformists who underwent general intervention and community drug treatment and rehabilitation programs; and
- Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs) are required to submit a monthly report on the status of all identified PWUDs.
For now, Albiar said that they are just waiting for the regulation to be released as they have already received the press release last August 4.
Since the implementation of the Barangay Drug Clearing Program last 2017, all barangays in all local government units are directed to establish their Barangay Drugs Abuse Council to capacitate them in addressing illegal drug problems in their respective areas.
With their coordination with the community, Albiar said that they have assessed a much-empowered community to report illegal drug activities compared to when residents experience a ‘climate of fear’ and are hesitant to provide information to authorities.
On the safety of their informants, Albiar assured that whoever reports to them, their identities will remain confidential.
For this year alone, PDEA-7 has cleared 145 barangays from illegal drugs. In total, 953 barangays were already drug-cleared since 2017. Central Visayas has 3,003 total barangays.
Further, PDEA aims to clear all 18,000 remaining barangays in the country from illegal drugs by 2022. The country has 42,045 barangays nationwide.
Villanueva said the new DDB regulation, is a boost to their war on drugs.
“Persistent and consistent. This is the way to go as we strive to eliminate illegal drugs barangay by barangay. The country’s drug problem is half solved as long as active and unfaltering BDCPs exist in our communities,” Villanueva stated in their PR.
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