Three-hundred forty barangays in the region are already declared drug-free from 2017 up to the present, according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) XI.
PDEA XI spokesperson Nephi Noli Dimaandal said they declared 17 barangays this year, in addition to the 323 barangays already cleared from 2017 to 2019.
Two of the 17 barangays are from Davao City. Southern Mindanao has more than 1,100 barangays.
“For now, the remaining drug-affected barangays were 293 in the region while in Davao City, more or less 116 barangays need to be cleared (six were declared drug-free),” he added.
The Dangerous Drug Board (DDB) Regulation No. 3, Series of 2017, defines a drug-cleared barangay “as previously drug-affected and subjected to drug-clearing operation and declared free from any illegal drug activities pursuant to the parameters set forth by the regulation.”
As stated in the Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation Number 3, Series of 2017 Section 8, a “drug-cleared” status means that the oversight committee, which is composed of the PDEA regional director or representative as the chairman, DILG regional director or representative as the vice chairman and PNP, DOH and LGU representatives as the members, “have convened and validated the non-availability of drug supply in the area and the absence of drug transit activity, clandestine drug laboratory, clandestine drug warehouse, clandestine chemical warehouse, marijuana cultivation site, drug den or resort, drug pusher and drug user.”
There should also be an active involvement of barangay officials and Sangguniang Kabataan in anti-drug activities of the barangay, as well as the existence of drug awareness programs and voluntary and compulsory drug treatment and rehabilitation processing desks.
In the event of reports of illegal drug activities, according to Sec. 11 of the said regulation, the status of the cleared barangay shall not be automatically reverted to a drug affected barangay.
Upon verification of the oversight committee, the concerned barangay shall be given 30 days to take appropriate action. Failure to do so shall be a ground to declare the concerned barangay as ‘drug-affected’ and be subjected again to barangay drug-clearing operations.