AFTER being declared as the first drug-cleared barangay in Mandaue City, Barangay Bakilid will receive half a million pesos in cash incentives from the City Anti-Drug Abuse Committee (Cadac) next year.
On Tuesday, September 28, 2021, the Regional Oversight Committee on Barangay Drug Clearing of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Central Visayas declared Barangay Bakilid a “drug cleared” barangay.
Mandaue City Councilor Nerissa Soon-Ruiz, who also served as Cadac focal person, passed a resolution on Wednesday, Sept. 29, giving a P500,000 incentive to Barangay Bakilid after garnering the drug-cleared status.
She said the incentive was already included in Cadac’s 2022 annual budget.
Ruiz said the incentive will be used for the barangay’s aftercare programs for drug surrenders, which includes providing them with capital for micro-business and enrolling them at the Mandaue City College Technological and Entrepreneurial Skills Training Center (MCCTEST).
She said in Barangay Bakilid, two of their drug surrenderers were given P15,000 each which serves as capital for their microbusiness and those enrolled in MCCTEST were equipped with skills needed for them to land a job.
Levi Ortiz, PDEA 7 director, said the “drug-cleared” status signifies that during the barangay’s application, all identified drug personalities were accounted for and underwent intervention programs.
“By no means does it signify that anti-illegal drug operations or advocacy activities will stop in these barangays,” said Ortiz.
In a separate interview, Roy Lumapas, chieftain of Barangay Bakilid, said they will use the P500,000 incentive to purchase a motorcycle with sidecar for the barangay tanod in their response operations and assistance for their drug surrenderers.
Lumapas said they can attest that providing livelihood to their drug surrenderers really encourages them not to return to their old ways.
He said of the 33 drug surrenderers who graduated from the community-based rehabilitation program, five were given a job opportunity.
Lumapas said these drug surrenderers no longer went back to their drug dependence which was proven through their weekly drug tests.
Lumapas admitted they are now pressured in maintaining their status especially as they aim to be drug-free by next year if they were able to maintain this.
Lawyer John Eddu Ibañez, the executive secretary of Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes, said the mayor was grateful that after years of addressing the illegal drugs in the city, a barangay has finally achieved the “drug-cleared” status.
Ibañez said being a highly urbanized city, it is difficult to achieve this status and the city government is also grateful for the efforts of the barangay officials of Bakilid.
Ibañez said the challenge now is to maintain this status. (KFD)