ANOTHER 59 barangays in Cebu Province were declared drug-cleared by the Barangay Drug Clearing Program Regional Oversight Committee yesterday.
This brings the total number of drug-free barangays in the province to 244, out of more than 1,200, including those in all cities.
Of the 59 drug-cleared barangays, 18 are from Borbon; 16 from Tabogon; nine from Alegria; four each from San Francisco and Oslob; three from Medellin; two from Samboan; and one each from the City of Naga, Sogod and San Remigio.
Carmen Remedio “Ivy” Durano-Meca, executive director for the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office (CPADAO), told reporters that in Tabogon town, they were supposed to declare all 18 barangays as drug-cleared.
But the regional oversight committee led by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 7 decided to only declare 16 barangays as drug-cleared since illegal drug personalities are reportedly still present in the two other villages.
Meca said the 59 villages underwent stringent validation by the regional oversight committee before they were declared as drug-free.
She clarified that PDEA 7, as head of the regional oversight committee, has the final say on the matter.
The role of CPADAO, Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Health is to ensure that the 14 parameters set in the Barangay Drug Clearing Program is followed by the village before the on-site validation, she said.
These parameters include, among many others, the absence of drug personalities in the barangay, implementation of an active Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (Badac), and the existence of a voluntary and compulsory drug treatment and rehabilitation program in the villages. (JKV)