8 villages in Pangasinan town now ‘drug-cleared’

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) declared eight barangays (villages) here as drug-cleared on Thursday following a series of evaluations and monitoring.

The barangays are Bantog, Cabangaran, Carayacan, Mabini, Nangapugan, San Pedro, Ungib, and Labuan.

In a phone interview on Friday, PDEA Pangasinan provincial officer Rechie Camacho said the town still has 13 barangays to be cleared.

The barangays underwent rigorous validation by the provincial and regional barangay drug clearing team and were declared by the Regional Oversight Committee as drug-cleared during the deliberation in November this year, he said.

Pangasinan now has 1,073 drug-cleared barangays out of the 1,272 drug-affected barangays in the province.

“We still have 199 barangays left to be cleared in the province. We hope we would be able to clear the entire province before the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration,” Camacho said.

He said most of the remaining barangays not cleared of illegal drugs lack “Balay Silangan”, which is a requirement for the local government units (LGUs).

“Balay Silangan is where the pushers are rehabilitated. It is required of the LGUs but due to the pandemic, the supposed facilities to be turned into Balay Silangan were used as coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) facilities,” he said.

He added that they are encouraging the LGUs to work on establishing a “Balay Silangan” as Covid-19 cases are now declining.

Meanwhile, Camacho said drug-cleared municipalities and city in the province is now at 84 percent.

He said they will continue with monitoring and operations amid the holiday season.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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