An additional 43 barangays in Western Visayas obtained drug-cleared status on Thursday, December 14, bringing to 3,741 the total number of cleared villages out of the 4,051 barangays in the region.
“We have a total of 43 new drug-cleared barangays in Western Visayas during our 50th deliberation, and we have to announce as well that we are down to our remaining 310 barangays that are to be cleared by our Regional Oversight Committee,” Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Western Visayas information officer Ma. Graziella Tanaleon said in an interview yesterday.
The barangays included 30 from Negros Occidental, five from Capiz, three each from Bacolod City and Iloilo province, and two from Antique.
Tanaleon said they hoped to clear more barangays in the succeeding deliberations next year.
During the deliberation, joined by representatives from the Philippine National Police, the Department of Health, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the committee also certified the retention of the drug-cleared status of 11 barangays from Guimaras, Aklan and Iloilo and 16 as drug-free from Aklan and Iloilo.
“We emphasized all the time that the drug-clearing program is ongoing. It is a cycle, and it doesn’t end when the barangay is drug-cleared,” she said.
The drug-cleared status is valid for one year, and they have to apply for retention.
During the deliberation, the barangays will be issued with certificates of identified drug personalities.
They have 60 days to act on the report, otherwise, the status will be revoked, she added.
“Fortunately, we have not revoked any. Because once it is revoked, they have to go through the entire drug-clearing process,” Tanaleon said. (PNA)