All except one of Catigbian’s 22 villages have been cleared of illegal drug activities elevating it is among candidates to being Bohol’s fourth drug-free town.
According to Mayor Virgilio Lurot, only Catigbian’s central district or Barangay Poblacion remained affected by drug activities.
Drug pushers in Catigbian have either been arrested or driven out of town as only drug users remain in Barangay Poblacion, said Lurot.
Illegal drugs particularly shabu reaching the village are being sold by out-of-town drug dealers, he added.
According to the mayor, the town’s officials and police have launched efforts to completely rid the town of narcotics activities this month of September.
Meanwhile, neighboring town of San Isidro which has 12 barangays also has one drug-affected village left.
Mayor Jacinto Naraga told DYRD Balita that like Catigbian, San Isidro’s sole drug-affected village is its central district, Barangay Poblacion.
So far only the towns of Dimiao, Sevilla and Batuan have been declared drug-free by their respective MADACs.
However, a multi-agency oversight committee led by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will still have to confirm these towns’ drug activity status.
Ma. Chona Engam, in a previous interview, 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 none of Bohol’s barangays have 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 Egam.
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. (Allen Doydora)