CEBU CITY, Philippines – Seventeen of the 107 barangays cleared in Siquijor province retained their clearance status this year, while the remaining 90 barangays continued to be cleared.
Leia Alcantara, spokesperson for the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7), said the validation of these 90 barangays by the Regional Oversight Committee Barangay Drug Clearing (ROCBDC) is underway.
Alcantara said 107 barangays have been certified cleared since 2017.
However, the status of these barangays will be validated annually by the ROCBDC, of which PDEA-7 is a part.
She also said that once they received a report of the presence of drug figures in a customs-cleared barangay, they would immediately revalidate the barangay’s status.
Alcantara also indicated that the province of Siquijor had 134 barangays and that 27 of these barangays had already been declared drug-free since 2017.
Those that were validated and being validated were the 107 remaining customs cleared barangays.
Cleared barangays are villages that were once affected by the illegal drug trade, but drug offenders had already surrendered and undergone various interventions.
Drug-free status, on the other hand, is granted to unaffected barangays that have been vetted and confirmed by the ROCBDC.
“Katong mga na NATO authorized by drug, ivalidate man na otan usab. Katong mga nadeclare, in particular, from 2017 to 2020, givalidate man na nato, ”Alcantara said.
(Those which are cleared, we validate them again. And we validate them again especially those declared from 2017 to 2020.)
“I have not validated the 17-year-old, has retained his status since the 17-year-old. It is currently being validated. Naa lay mga more on DILG [Department of Interior and Local Government] nga side nga atoang gicheck, ”Alcantara said.
(There are 17 barangays that we have already validated, their status is retained. For the others, our validation is in progress. We are just checking more on the side of the DILG.)
The validation period varies for each barangay.
READ: Can a drug barangay status be canceled?
Alcantara said that the functional and functional Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council has greatly contributed to the drug clearance process in Siquijor.
In these cleared barangays, she said, all drug-related personalities had already been identified and the drug addicts had already graduated from their community-based rehabilitation program.
For these petty drug traffickers, Alcantara said the local government in Siquijor had prepared its Balay Silangan, a community-based rehabilitation program that would give drug-addicted offenders a second chance where interventions would be provided, reforming them to become law-abiding citizens. . .
Apart from this, Siqujor’s continued demand reduction and sustainability operations have also helped to maintain their status in terms of drug proliferation rates in their respective villages.
Alcantara said the community had also been empowered to have their own drug monitoring barangay, where they would immediately coordinate with police if they noticed passengers or suspicious activity in their villages.
Alcantara said she hoped these barangays would retain their respective status in the long term, and once again reminded officials that surveillance would be key to maintaining their status.
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