SAN Simon, a fourth district town, is one step away from being the third drug-cleared municipality in Pampanga, after 13 out of its 14 villages were officially declared drug-cleared on Tuesday, June 18.
The 12 villages declared drug-cleared by the Regional Drug-Clearing Oversight Committee were San Agustin, Sta. Monica, San Isidro, San Pablo Libutad, San Pablo Propio, Dela Paz, San Pedro, San Juan, San Miguel, Sta Cruz, San Nicolas and San Jose.
The declaration came after the said villages, together with the local police and government, successfully complied with the 14 parameters set by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) under its "Strengthening the Implementation of the Barangay Drug Clearing Program" board regulation.
Barangay Sto. Niño, meanwhile, was the first to have gained the drug-cleared status back in 2018, and has maintained it until this year, while Barangay Concepcion is now the lone village in San Simon that remains infected with illegal drugs.
Mayor Leonora Wong credited the successful drug-clearing activities to the collaborative efforts of the barangay officials, local police and Municipal Government, as well as to the constituents.
"This is a manifestation that our police and the local government, through the Committee on Peace and Order led by Councilor Crisanta Macapagal, have performed well. And I am very grateful for their efforts, and of course the unity of Simonians," she said.
Wong also expressed optimism that Barangay Concepcion will soon meet the parameters and comply with the requirements set by the Regional Oversight Committee.
She noted that since Barangay Concepcion is the border village between San Simon and Baliwag in Bulacan, it sometimes serves as an open access way for personalities involved in criminal activities, including illegal drug peddling.
"There was an issue there since some of the drug suspects identified were not from Concepcion but are from Bulacan, that's why their declaration was delayed but I am confident that they will also get the status in a few weeks' time," she said.
Once Barangay Concepcion is finally declared as drug-cleared, San Simon will follow Masantol and San Luis towns, which have a municipal-wide drug-cleared status.