PDEA declares 393 barangays in Western Visayas drug-free

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At least 393 more barangays in Western Visayas have been declared drug-free by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency 6 as of March 20.

Citing its records, PDEA said the 313 include 203 in Antique; 120 in Iloilo; 47 in Capiz; 19 in Negros Occidental; and four in Aklan.

Requirements for being declared drug-free 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
* Existence of drug awareness, preventive education and information
* Existence of voluntary and compulsory drug treatment and rehabilitation processing desk

PDEA-6 Regional Director Alex Tablate underscored the importance of drug clearing 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,” he said.

“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,” he added.

Earlier, PDEA-6 declared 283 barangays in Western Visayas as drug-cleared areas after deliberations by the Regional Oversight Committee of the Barangay Drug Clearing Program last Jan. 31.

The BDCP’s members include PDEA, Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Department of Health (DOH), as well as the respective local chief executives.