Boracay Island now a drug-free tourist destination

Boracay Island now a drug-free tourist destination

The Regional Oversight Committee declared yesterday, June 2, 2021, that Manocmanoc and Balabag, two that were previously identified as drug hotspots of Boracay, are now cleared of illegal drugs.

Last February 17, 2021, Barangay Yapak has already been cleared.

The parameters were set by the government's Regional Oversight Committee, which is composed of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Health (DOH), and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

A PDEA agent lets a K9 do the job of sniffing out possible illegal drugs from inside cargo offloaded at the ports./iNEWS
A PDEA agent lets a K9 do the job of sniffing out possible illegal drugs from inside cargo offloaded at the ports./iNEWS

To this, all of the barangays of Malay, where three are on the Island of Boracay and 14 are on the mainland, have successfully passed.

Balabag and Manocmanoc had applied for the Drug Clearing Program where the local government of Malay and the Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council accepted the assessment of the latest multi-agency.

The 14 barangays declared drug-free in the mailand of Malay are Argao, Balusbus, Cabulihan, Caticlan, Cogon, Cubay Norte, Cubay Sur, Dumlog, Motag, Naasog, Nabaoy, Napaan, Poblacion, and Sambiray.

According to the guidelines established by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Resolution No. 3 series of 2017, a barangay can be declared as drug-free if it observes the following:

a.) there is no supply of illegal drugs
b.) no drug transit or transshipment activity
c.) no presence of clandestine drug laboratory
d.) no clandestine drug warehouse
e.) no clandestine chemical warehouse
f.) no marijuana cultivation site
g.) no drug den, dive, or resort
h.) no drug dealers or pushers operating in the area
i.) no drug user or dependents
j.) no protector, coddler, or financier of the illegal drug business
k.) barangay officials have an active involvement in anti-drug activities
l.) the Sangguniang Kabataan officials have an active role in helping maintain the "drug-liberated" status of the barangay
m.) the conduct of drug awareness campaign, preventive education and information, and other similar programs
n.) the presence of voluntary and compulsory drug treatment and rehabilitation processing desk.

The COVID-19 lockdowns and quarantine measures are the main reason for the cessation of the illicit drug trade within Boracay Island. As travel restrictions result in economic hardships, in addition to the border lockdowns, which constrained drug dealers and pushers to lie low.

PDEA Director Gen. Wilkins Villanueva discussed with Malay acting town mayor Frolibar Bautista the Barangay Drug Clearing Program, the current status and monitoring of drug surrenderees, implementation of the Balay Silangan Reformation Center and after-care programs, and the parameters of how to be a drug-free tourist destination municipality, to which the clearance came months after.

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