FORTY percent or 1,215 out of 3,003 barangays in Central Visayas have been given drug-cleared status since 2018.

Just recently 48 barangays in the region have received a drug-cleared status from the Regional Oversight Committee on Barangay Drug Clearing (ROCBDC), which is composed of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Philippine National Police, Department of Health, and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

The ROCBDC’s task is to examine documents from Barangay or Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council before giving a drug-cleared status.

Since the barangay drug-clearing program started four years ago, the ROCBDC has given 116 barangays a drug-free status. The number is just 3.86 percent of the total number of barangays in Central Visayas.

Of the 48 newly drug-cleared barangays, 37 are from Bohol; six, Cebu Province; four, Negros Oriental; and one in Mandaue City.

The committee gave three municipalities in Cebu–-Madridejos, Santander and San Francisco—a drug-cleared status.

A drug-affected barangay gains a drug-cleared status if it has met these criteria: non-availability of drug supply; absence of drug transit or transshipment activity; absence of clandestine drug laboratory; absence of clandestine drug warehouse; absence of clandestine chemical warehouse; absence of marijuana cultivation site; and absence of drug dens.

The other factors are the absences of drug pushers, drug users or dependents, and protectors or coddlers and financiers; barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials must also be actively involved in anti-drug activities; existence of drug awareness and prevention education; and existence of voluntary and compulsory drug treatment processing desk.

A barangay on the other hand, gains a drug-free status if its unaffected status has been vetted and validated by the ROCBDC.