FOURTEEN more villages in Lubao town, Pampanga were declared drug-cleared Monday, June 24, and several others are expected to follow suit.
Mayor Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab, who attended her last Monday flag-raising rites with municipal employees, witnessed the awarding of certificates to the drug-cleared barangays and their respective barangay secretaries.
Included in the newest list of barangays where the drug menace has been stamped out are San Pablo 1, San Matias, Sto. Cristo, San Juan, Sta. Lucia, San Nicolas 2, Sta. Barbara, San Agustin, Del Carmen, Sta. Maria, Santiago, San Isidro, Sto. Niño and Dela Paz.
Certificates were also given out to partner agencies who have contributed in the various aspects of the drug-clearing process, including the Municipal Health Office which conducted the initial assessment and laboratory testing of drug dependents; Social Welfare and Development Office for the social protection and Public Employment Services Office for the livelihood programs for qualified drug surrenderers.
Colonel Jerry Corpuz, Lubao municipal police chief, and Glen Guillermo, information officer of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, assisted in the awarding of certificates.
Irinea Bacani, local government operations officer, said the number of cleared barangays is expected to rise to 24 with other villages already in the final phase of the clearing evaluation.
The certification, however, should not be a reason for the barangay officials to scale down their efforts against the drug problem, the police chief said.
A drug-cleared barangay may repeat the whole clearing assessment process even with just a single confirmed case of drug pushing incident in the village.
Mayor Cayabyab said the awarding was sort of a send-off gift for her as she bade farewell to the municipal employees. She will relinquish the mayorship to mayor-Elect Esmie Pineda on June 30 and, in turn, assume a post in the provincial board.