3 Cebu City barangays candidates to be declared ‘drug-cleared’

THREE barangays in Cebu City may soon be declared “drug-cleared.”

The mountain barangays of Agsungot and Tabunan and Barangay Kalubihan in the downtown area are waiting for members of the Regional Oversight Committee on Barangay Drug-Clearing Program to issue a certification on their status.

The committee, which is chaired by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA 7), is composed of provincial representatives of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Philippine National Police, Department of Health and local government units.

According to the PDEA website, “before declaring that a barangay is free from illegal drug activities, the committee must convene and validate the non-availability of drug supply in the area and the absence of drug transit activity, clandestine drug laboratory and chemical warehouse, marijuana cultivation site, drug den, drug pusher and user.”

Once cleared, newly declared drug-free barangays are monitored to avoid a resurgence of the illegal drug trade.

Lieutenant Colonel Maria Theresa Macatangay, information officer of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), said it will be a great honor for CCPO officials if another three barangays are declared “drug-cleared” since it will be seen that their campaign against illegal drugs is effective.

She said that achieving the status is a success for the community and for all those who work together to eliminate illegal drugs in their areas.

“So it is a collective success of all the sectors working together to make these barangays drug-cleared,” Macatangay said.

Meanwhile, Macatangay explained that a barangay with a “drug-cleared” status doesn’t mean there are no more drugs in the barangay. It means that members of the Barangay Drug Abuse Council have identified residents involved in illegal drugs and the latter have been subjected to the community-based drug rehabilitation program, she said.

Of the 80 barangays in Cebu City, only Barangays Sto. Niño, Parian, Sudlon 1, Sudlon 2, Sapangdaku, Buot, San Antonio, Basak Pardo, Pamutan, Toong, Sinsin, Lusaran and Kinasang-an have been declared drug-cleared.

Macatangay said the CCPO still has a long way to go to eradicate the drug menace since the city is the drop-off place of illegal drug shipments from the National Capital Region.

Just last Monday, October 3, police seized 18 kilos of suspected shabu with an estimated worth of P122.4 million during an anti-drugs operation in Barangay Busay. (AYB, PJB)