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64 Bacolod, NegOcc brgys seeking ‘drug-free’ status

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Sixty-four barangays in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental are applying to be declared drug-free during the deliberations of the Regional Oversight Committee (ROC) on Dangerous Drugs on October 9.

Nicolas Gomez, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Negros Occidental head, said yesterday that 52 barangays in Negros Occidental and 12 in Bacolod will be screened.

The deliberations will be held in Bacolod, and sponsored by the provincial government of Negros Occidental, Gomez said, adding they will make sure that health protocols will be strictly followed.

The application of the barangays may be approved or disqualified, depending on the parameters of the drug clearing program, Gomez said.

So far, 134 barangays in Negros Occidental and 10 in Bacolod have been declared free from the menace of illegal drugs, he added.

In Western Visayas, there are 3,162 barangays with drug-free status, as of Tuesday, the PDEA-6 reported, adding this is 80 percent of the total 4,051 barangays in Region 6.

This after the ROC on Dangerous Drugs in Western Visayas declared 64 barangays from Panay and Guimaras as drug-cleared.

In a phone interview, Shey Tanaleon, acting spokesperson for PDEA Western Visayas, said the ROC has deliberated on the applications of 137 barangays and 64 hurdled the rigid screening of the committee.

ROC is composed of the PDEA as chair, Department of the Interior and Local Government as co-chair, and the Department of Health and Philippine National Police as members.

“Sixty four successfully passed the parameters of the drug clearing program,” Tanaleon said yesterday.

These barangays, she said, have no drug supply, no transit, drug laboratory or warehouse, no marijuana cultivation, and actively implement the anti-drug law.

To sustain the gains against illegal drugs, Tanaleon said efforts have been tightened such that the concerned office of primary responsibility (OPR) has to implement support activities, including sports, religious and social activities, livelihood projects, and re-integration and counseling activities for families of drug personalities.

The OPR includes local government units and barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials with the support of local church groups, local PNP, social welfare office, health office, and the Department of Education.

Tanaleon said the barangay drug-clearing program is dynamic and it does not end when a barangay is declared drug-cleared.

“Our barangay drug-clearing in the whole of Region 6 is implemented in full force, our barangay anti-drug abuse councils are fully activated,” she said.

Tanaleon said barangays that are yet to be cleared are strictly monitored due to reported presence of drug personalities.*with PNA


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December 2023

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