A regional oversight committee on drug-clearing operations led by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Tuesday started to verify drug-free status of 17 Bohol barangays which were deemed by authorities to have not been affected by narcotics activities and is set to review the status of 212 other villages.
Department of Interior and Local Government provincial director Ma. Lousella Lucino told dyRD Balita that committee which also includes the DILG is reassessing documents on drug activity status from the said 17 villages’ Municipal (MADAC) and Barangay (BADAC) Anti-drug Abuse Councils.
The barangays considered to have not been affected by narcotics activities even prior to the Duterte administration’s war on drugs include: Cagongcagong, Alicia; Buenasuerte, Tanod and Almaria in Anda; Quinapon-an, Antequera; Villa Aurora, Dagonhoy and Taytay in Duero; Catmon, Sampong and Togbongon in Garcia-Hernandez; Buenavista, Loboc; Cadabug, Canmanoc, Quinobkoban and Tiwi in Loon; Bayog, Carlos P. Garcia and Ubay Island in Tubigon.
Meanwhile, 212 barangays declared drug-free by their respective MADACs and BADACs are also set to submit necessary documents to the same oversight committee for the review of their drug status.
These documents include certifications at various levels including the household, purok, barangay and municipal levels and one from the town’s police chief, said Lucino.
According to the DILG official, 300 more barangays are also ready to undergo the oversight committee’s reassessment.
However, these still need complete certifications at the household level.
The said oversight committee will be the last, after the MADAC and BADAC, to confirm a village’s drug-free status.
It is chaired by the PDEA and joined by officials from other agencies and institutions including the DILG, the Philippine National Police, the Department of Health and local government units.
For her part, PDEA agent Chona Egam said that villages need to meet 14 parameters set by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) before they are considered cleared of illegal drug activities.
So far, Bohol barangays have not yet completely fulfilled these requirements.
“They need to comply with these parameters—the nonavailability of drug supply, absence of drug transit, absence of clandestine laboratory and warehouses,” said the PDEA official.
The drug-cleared status also validates that the village is cleared of marijuana cultivation sites, illegal drug dens, dives, or resorts; and verifies the absence of illegal drug pushers, users, dependents, protectors, coddlers and financiers.
According to Egam, villages need to be cleared at the barangay and municipal levels before the oversight committee reassesses the area’s drug presence status. (Rey Tutas)