Nine (9) barangays in the Province of Zamboanga del Norte were formally declared drug-cleared and drug-free barangays by the Regional Oversight Committee on Barangay Drug Clearing Program on August 26, 2020, at the Top Plaza Hotel, Dipolog City.
The oversight committee, presided by the Regional Director of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) IX, Dir. Emerson L. Margate being the committee chairperson, along with Regional Director (RD) Paisal O. Abutazil as the Vice Chairperson, representatives from Philippine National Police- Police Regional Office (PNP-PRO) IX, Department of Health (DOH) IX, and Vice Governor Senen Angeles of Zamboanga del Norte as members, unanimously approved the declaration of the six (6) barangays from Salug, Zambo Norte and three (3) barangays from Sibutad, Zambo Norte, as drug-cleared and drug-free barangays effective August 26, 2020, after having satisfactorily complied all the parameters and requirements as stipulated under the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Regulation No. 3, series of 2017.
Dir. Margate of PDEA IX, in his message, emphasized the need for the local government units (LGUs) to continue implementing programs, projects and activities on anti-illegal drugs even after the barangay drug clearing program in order to ensure the reintegration of the former illegal-drug victims to the society and as well as to prevent them from returning to their illegal activities.
RD Paisal Abutazil, also emphasized during his closing remarks the need to further strengthen the collaboration of efforts among national government agencies, LGUs down to the barangay level, and all other stakeholders, in order to successfully combat the problem on illegal drugs and eventually realize the aspirations of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte of a drug-free Philippines by 2022.
In a span of three days since Monday, August 24, 2020, the committee has declared a total of forty nine (49) barangays in the whole Region IX, as drug-cleared and drug-free barangays.