Eight barangays in Puerto Princesa City had been declared “drug-cleared” after a virtual conference deliberation on March 31 by the MIMAROPA Regional Oversight Committee on Barangay Drug Clearing Operation (ROC BDC).

These are barangays Princesa, Inagawan, Mangingisda, Tagumpay, Babuyan, Masikap, Masipag, and Luzviminda.

Present during the deliberation were Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director Laurefel P. Gabales, P/Lt. Col. Benigno Sumawang, Dr. Sahlee Montevirgen-Sajo of the Department of Health (DOH), Atty. Irvin Palanca of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Puerto Princesa City administrator Atty. Arnel Pedrosa.

The announcement was originally set for December 2021, but was postponed due to a lack of preparation on their side, according to PDEA Palawan provincial officer Christopher Torres.

“Ang walo na yan sila lang talga ang nag-apply last year. Yan ang intervention last year ng Community-Based Rehabilitation Program (CBRP). Dapat December 2021 pa yan, pero dahil may mga kulang pa sa part naman namin, na-delay ang declaration,” Torres said.

With the new declaration, there are now 31 drug-cleared barangays in Puerto Princesa, with 24 remaining affected and 11 unaffected.

“Ang mga barangay Simpocan, New Panggangan, Montible, Bagong Bayan, Binduyan, Buena Vista, Langogan, Marufinas Maruyugon, Sta. Lucia at Sta Cruz, ito ang mga barangay na wala pang naitatala na na-involve sa drugs,” he said.

“Ang mga kini-clear natin, ang mga binigyan natin ng mga intervention na barangay ay ang mga may status na may mga affectatiosns, ibig sabihin yung mga drug affected barangay,” he added.

Torres also indicated that there are two categories of affected barangays — slightly and moderately affected — both of which can apply for drug clearing.

“Pareho silang pwedeng mag-apply, pero may mga ikinokonsider lang, katulad ng mga intervention program sa mga surrendereers. Sa mga barangay kasi na mayroon lang mga sumuko na drug users lang, sila ang mga nasa category ng slightly affected, aabot lang sa isang araw ang intervention program sa kanila, tapos na agad pero ang mga moderately affected or may mga users and pushers, aabot ng mga two months yan bago sila matatapos sa mga programa, depende sa mga local government unit (LGU),” He added.

Torres also stated that barangays seeking drug clearance must present requirements, which include anti-drug operations records.

“Dapat may mga certification, kapag nahuli ka, kailangan lang ng spot report, progress report at commitment order. Kapag naman cannot be located, certification lang na signed ng chief of police, intelligence officer, at barangay chairman. At kapag lumipat ang barangay, kailangan lang ng certification ng pinaggalingang barangay at nilipatan, kailang mag isyu ng parehong certification,” he explained.

Meanwhile, in the province of Palawan, PDEA said 199 barangays are already declared drug cleared, while 133 remain unaffected and 35 are still on their lists as affected barangays.

“Doon sa mga drug affected barangays, ang mga munisipyo ng Culion, ito nalang yung last two barangay nila na affected nag-a-apply para madeklarang drug cleared, 6 -7 barangay sa Coron, apat sa Brooke’s Point, at isa sa Rizal. Ang El Nido wala pang number ng barangay na binibigay pero nag-inform na sila,” PDEA said.

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covers the police beat and other law enforcement agencies in the province. Her interest includes traveling and photography.