10 Barangays Declared as Drug-Cleared

PADAC Action Officer and Provincial Administrator Art Benjie Bulaong and DOPPO Provincial Director PSSUPT Harry Espela sign the documents validating the drug-cleared status of the barangays in Banaybanay town.

DAVAO ORIENTAL – Ten more villages in four towns and one city here have recently been declared as drug-cleared.

In a series of signing and declaration program held on August 14 and 16, the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC) and partners from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and the Municipal and Barangay Local Government Units validated these villages in the towns of Banaybanay, Lupon, Governor Generoso, San Isidro and the City of Mati as free from any illegal drugs activity.

Signing and declaration of drug-cleared barangays in Banaybanay town.

These areas have also been officially validated as drug-cleared communities by the Regional Oversight Committee after accomplishing the parameters set by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB).

Joining the signing and declaration are the drug reformists who have surrendered to the authorities.

Signing and declaration of drug-cleared barangays in Governor Generoso town.

A total of 87 drug reformists from the villages of Puntalinao and Cabangcalan in Banaybanay town, 139 from Bagumbayan in Lupon town, 36 from Osmeña and Chikote in Governor Generoso town, 124 from Santo Rosario, Dugmanon, La Union, and Bitaogan in San Isidro town, and 59 from Don Martin Marundan in the City of Mati have expressed their full cooperation with the Provincial Government in its fight against illegal drugs.

Ensuring drug dependents’ full recovery, an intervention initiated by the Provincial Government dubbed as Lihok NLD (Nagkakaisang Lingkod-Bayan ng Davao Oriental) will be implemented.

Signing and declaration of drug-cleared barangays in Lupon town.

Lihok NLD is a rehabilitation program which pools resources of concerned government agencies and other stakeholders to provide holistic aftercare assistance for the drug reformists. This assistance that will be offered to them will range from livelihood, training, and psychological treatment, among many others, focusing on the aftercare, transformation, and reintegration support.

PADAC Action Officer and Provincial Administrator Art Benjie Bulaong said that the Provincial Government is positive that through the province’s Lihok NLD, drug reformists can serve as the mouthpiece of the government in its campaign to increase the public’s awareness on the ills of drugs and to entice their peers who are still into drugs to surrender to the authorities.

Signing and declaration of drug-cleared barangays in the City of Mati.

Mayor Adalia Tambuang, Banaybanay MADAC Chairman, who attributes the successful drug clearing operations to all stakeholders, especially to the Punong Barangays, vowed to help drug reformists in her area on their rehabilitation. “This effort is not just for the sake of having our two barangays declared drug-cleared but rather for the reformists to truly recover from the ill effects of drugs, and for the future of all the people in our municipality”, she said.

Meanwhile, San Isidro Town Mayor Justina Yu, represented by Vice Mayor Romeo Ruedas, promised to clear the remaining 11 drug penetrated villages in their town within the current month.

Signing and declaration of drug-cleared barangays in San Isidro town.

Lupon Mayor Erlinda Lim, Governor Generoso Mayor Katrina Joy Orencia, and Mati City Mayor Carlo Rabat also signified their full support to President Rodrigo Duterte administration’s main thrust which is to eradicate drug menace in the country.

To ensure sustainability of the program, these town and city mayors said they will work together with the PDEA and PNP in constantly monitoring the drug reformists through a random drug testing while the reformists undergo Community-Based Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation. By Riza M. Golez

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