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War vs illegal drugs gains ground in Western Visayas

ILOILO CITY — A new story highlighting how Western Visayas, especially Iloilo City, has moved forward is being encouraged to change public perception after it was marred with illegal drug issues in the past year.
“That’s what we are pushing for. We need to come up with a new narrative,” said Chief Supt. Cesar Hawthorne Binag, regional director of the Police Regional Office (PRO 6).
Binag said that each place had its own story to tell but the point is that they could not remain on a “status quo.”
And remaining in a “status quo” is definitely not the intention of Western Visayas, most particularly in its fight against illegal drugs.
The region is moving forward in the drug campaign with 176 barangays already declared as drug-cleared of the 4,051 villages in the region.
Data from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) showed that 145 barangays from Bacolod City, Bingawan, Maasin and Alimodian in Iloilo and from various towns of Negros Occidental were the first to be recognized as cleared of illegal drugs.
The declaration started as early as June this year, according to David Garcia, PDEA information officer in Western Visayas.
The most recent was the 31 barangays composed of 13 in Sibunag, Guimaras; nine from Oton; six from Mina and three in Iloilo City.
PDEA regional director Wardley Getalia said that the task really falls on the shoulder of barangay officials because they are responsible for the documentation.
They have been sending personnel on the ground to assist officials in facilitating their documents.
To fast-track, PDEA is giving priority to the unaffected and slightly affected barangays.
Western Visayas has 1,857 slightly affected and 1,554 unaffected barangays.

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