Thirty-four (34) Barangays in Zamboanga Sibugay have recently been declared as drug-cleared communities by the Regional Oversight Committee after accomplishing the parameters set forth by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) as provided in Section 8, DDB Board Regulation No. 3 Series of 2017, otherwise known as “Strengthening the Implementation of the Barangay Drug-Clearing Program.”
During the ceremonial declaration program held at Tungawan Gymnasium, Poblacion, Tungawan and Imelda Gymnasium, Poblacion, Imelda, both of Zamboanga Sibugay on June 14, 2018, the communities that were declared as drug free are Tungawan (11 Barangays), Titay (2 Barangays), Buug (6 Barangays), Diplahan (3 Barangays), Imelda (6 Barangays), Naga (2 Barangays), Siay (2 Barangays) and Oluntanga (3 Barangays).
Some of the personalities leading the declaration were Hon. Wilter Yap Palma, Provincial Governor, Province of Zamboanga Sibugay; Director III Laurefel P Gabales, MDM, Regional Director of PDEA, Chairman, Regional Oversight Committee on Barangay Drug Clearing Operations; Police Superintendent Alikhan A Yusop, Officer in Charge of RPCRD, Police Regional Office 9 and Director Paisal O Abutazil, CESO III, Regional Director of DILG 9. Also in attendance during the ceremony were Municipal Mayors of Tungawan, Titay, Buug, Diplahan, Imelda, Naga, Siay and Oluntanga, all of Zamboanga Sibugay, MADAC and BADAC members of the above-mentioned municipality and their respective Chiefs of Police.
In declaring an area drug-free, the PDEA and the Philippine National Police consider factors such as non-availability of illegal drugs, absence of illegal drug transshipment activity, absence of clandestine illegal drug laboratory, absence of clandestine illegal drug warehouse, absence of clandestine illegal chemical warehouse, absence of marijuana cultivation site, absence of drug den, absence of drug pushers, absence of drug users/dependents, absence of protectors/coddlers and financiers.
The Regional Oversight Committee, which is led by the PDEA, is composed of provincial representatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH) and local government units.
Director III Laurefel P Gabales, MDM, Regional Director of PDEA, Chairman, Regional Oversight Committee on Barangay Drug Clearing Operations, said that the drug-cleared barangays will still be subjected to re-validation and if the committee will find out that there are still drug users and pushers still operating at the above-mentioned barangay, the Regional Oversight Committee will recall the declaration and they will not be a drug-cleared barangay anymore.