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In Western Visayas, a drug-clearing initiative in villages has boosted the effort.

CITY OF ILOILO – After being strengthened under President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s administration, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency’s (PDEA) Barangay Drug Clearing Program (BDCP) has had a significant impact on the anti-drug campaign in Western Visayas.

“Through the Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (ADAC), we have rallied the full support of our community, and our drug personalities have been successfully rehabilitated and reformed through government programs, including community-based rehabilitation and the Balay Silangan Reformation Program,” said PDEA information officer Shey Tanaleon in an interview on Tuesday.

She said that as of May 2022, 87.90 percent of the 4,051 communities in Western Visayas had been cleared, equivalent to 3,561 barangays.

Aklan province has been cleared of illegal drugs 100 percent; Antique province has been cleared 99.32 percent; Iloilo province has been cleared 98.19 percent; Guimaras province has been cleared 96.93 percent; Capiz province has been cleared 89.64 percent; Negros Occidental has been cleared 55.90 percent; Iloilo City has been cleared 51.66 percent; and Bacolod City has been cleared 21.31 percent.

“The campaign’s centerpiece was the reintegration of our drug personalities back into society as recovering users and pushers with employment,” she continued.

Tanaleon claimed that by implementing the BDCP, they were able to achieve tangible outcomes because barangays must adhere to the Dangerous Drugs Board’s guidelines (DDB).

Drug-cleared applications continued to flood their office. They also got information about newly discovered drug personalities.

She went on to say that the drug-cleared status isn’t permanent and that ADAC should be prepared to present a report and a list of drug personalities in their area.

“Even though we are in the midst of a transition to a new administration, we continue to step up our interdiction and other anti-drug operations.” President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug-war legacy should not be squandered, but rather used as motivation to continue the program under the new administration,” she added.

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