ILOILO City – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) look forward to declare more “drug-cleared” barangays in the city at the end of the first quarter.
“In partnership with the PNP and other government agencies, hopefully after this first quarter we can declare additional barangays, particularly those slightly-affected barangays.
We are hoping to process at least 50 percent, that is our projection,” said PDEA Region 6 head Alex Tablate on Wednesday during a press conference after the regular meeting of the City Peace and Order Council.
Iloilo City has 180 villages, 69 of them are “slightly-affected” by drugs. Currently, four barangays have been declared as drug-cleared – Quezon in Arevalo; Housing Block 17 in Mandurriao; Libertad Sta. Isabel in Jaro; and Sampaguita in City Proper. Tablate said PDEA and PNP will continue to conduct antidrug operations in barangays declared drug-cleared.
“The antidrug operations will continue because we want to maintain the status of the barangay,” he said.
Apprehensions in drug-cleared barangays do not automatically mean that their declaration is reverted, Tablate stressed.
They will instead be subjected to a process where they will be given a 30-day period to submit a report and inform the PDEA and the PNP. “
Otherwise, if it lapsed and there were no actions from barangay officials, the regional oversight committee could issue a resolution reverting the barangay to a drug-affected barangay,” he said. Tablate added that even barangay officials can be held administratively and criminally liable for dereliction of duty. (With PNA/PN)