The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Negros Oriental will validate the status of 75 barangays in Bayawan City and Sta. Catalina town on their declaration as drug-cleared barangays.
PDEA Intelligence Officer I Jose Anthony Juanites said the status of barangays is endorsed to the regional oversight committee for deliberation, and this will be validated this month.
The barangays should be assessed, based on the new Dangerous Drugs Board guidelines.
Under DDB Regulation No. 3, series of 2017, a barangay declared drug-free by the police should be attested by the city or municipality anti-drug abuse council, validated by PDEA, and assessed and evaluated by an oversight committee of PDEA with the Department of the Interior and Local Government, LGUs, Department of Health, and the Philippine National Police.
So far, 30 barangays in the province were already cleared from illegal drugs based on the parameters of the DDB, a government press release said.
Juanites said if the local officials cannot maintain such status based on the continuous monitoring of PDEA, the agency will revoke the declaration, the press release added.
“Once a barangay is declared drug-free, nobody should be identified to be a user or pusher in the area,” Juanites said.
The PDEA said all 557 barangays in the province have active Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils, as of December 2018.
Negros Oriental anti-narcotics operatives intensified the campaign against illegal drugs in 2018, that resulted in the arrest of 109 drug personalities.*RG/PIA
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