20 BARANGAYS, 2 TOWNS DECLARED ‘DRUG-FREE’ IN PALAWAN
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan -- Some five barangays in this city, 15 barangays in the municipalities, and two towns in Palawan were declared drug-free here Tuesday after meeting the requirements set forth by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB).
Out of 66 barangays in Puerto Princesa, the barangays of Macarascas, Cabayugan, Maligaya, Lucbuan, and Salvacion, were declared drug-free Tuesday after the DDB validated and confirmed that these do not have drug dens, pushers, users, and its officials are active in the conduct of anti-drug activities.
The declaration was led by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Mimaropa regional director Mario Ramos, in cooperation with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Palawan Provincial Police Office (PPO).
In Palawan, the towns of Busuanga and Cuyo had also been declared drug-free along with 15 barangays, which are located in San Vicente, Taytay, Roxas and Coron in the northern part, and Quezon and Balabac in the southern.
The barangays are Salvacion, Busuanga, Alimanguan and Caruray in San Vicente; Suba and Cabigsing in Cuyo; Tagpait and Bantulan in Taytay; Berong in the town of Quezon; Catagupan in Balabac; Abaroan, San Jose, Magara and Caramay in Roxas; and San Jose, Decabobo, and Bulalacao in Coron.
"Finally, upon validation and evaluation processed by the region, these barangays are declared drug-free effective this day," Ramos said.
In Cabayugan, Ramos said an estimated 22 drug dependents and suspected pushers surrendered; 17 in Macarascas; Salvacion-11; and Maligaya and Lucbuan with six.
Maligaya barangay chairman Robert Palanca said they will continue their campaign against illegal drugs through their Barangay Anti-Illegal Drug Abuse Council (BADAC).
"Masaya tayo dahil isa tayo sa na-ideklara na drug-free barangay. Patuloy ang kampanya natin kontra ilegal na droga, para matigil na ito at manatili kaming drug-free (We are happy that we have been declared drug-free. We will continue our drive against illegal drugs through to ensure it is stopped and we will remain drug-free),” he said.
In August this year, Ramos said 51 out of the 66 barangays in the city are “drug-affected” based on their validation.
That figure has decreased to 46, and he hoped that more can be declared drug-free in the future.
He said a drug-free barangay means its community is safe from “the curse of illegal drugs.”
He said a barangay can only be declared drug-free if it passes the requirements of DDB Regulation No. 3, which are non-availability of drug supply; absence of drug dens, pushers, and users; no clandestine drug laboratory; active involvement of barangay officials in anti-illegal drug activities; existence of drug awareness campaigns; and existence of voluntary and compulsory drug treatment and rehabilitation processing desks. (PNA)