676 barangays in Western Visayas now drug-free

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A total of 393 more barangays have been declared drug-free in Western Visayas.

According to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency 6 (PDEA-6), Antique has the most number of drug-cleared villages with 203. It was followed by Iloilo (120), Capiz (47), Negros Occidental (19), and Aklan (4).

Regional Director Alex Tablate stressed the role barangays play in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.

“The barangay is the frontline of our campaign and very much challenged when it comes to our efforts against illegal drugs,” said Tablate.

The cooperation of barangays, he added, will ensure the effective and efficient implementation of the government’s anti-drug program.

“In essence, when the same has been effective in the barangay level, it will redound to the benefit of the local government units and, eventually, to each and every family living therein,” according to him.

Earlier, PDEA-6 declared 283 barangays in Western Visayas as drug-cleared areas.

Said barangays have complied with all the requirements and parameters set by the Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 3, Series of 2017 on Strengthening the Implementation of BDCP.

These requirements include non-availability of drug supply; absence of drug den, pusher, user; absence of clandestine drug laboratory; active involvement of barangay officials in anti-drug activities; the existence of drug awareness, preventive education, and information; and the existence of voluntary and compulsory drug treatment and rehabilitation processing desk.