Maasin town declared 'drug-free'
Posted: 2017-Jul-15 22.00.05 UTC+0800
ILOILO CITY — The municipality of Maasin in the province of Iloilo on Friday was declared free of illegal drugs by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Western Visayas.
PDEA-6 regional director Gil Pabilona led the declaration this afternoon at the town plaza.
Mayor Mariano Malones,in his speech, underscored that the clearing of the town is his proof and commitment to President Rodrigo Duterte after he was tagged by the President as among the local chief executives in the country who is a drug protector.
The mayor recalled that he personally talked to the President to clear his name and also to know the main reason why he was tagged as among the narco-politicians included in his list.
He said that the President told him to help rid illegal drugs in his town.The President even told him that he will visit the town this year or next year to personally revoke his tag, he added.
Maasin town is composed of 50 barangays, 18 of which were identified affected of illegal drugs when the President's campaign started.
The town also yielded 47 drug surenderees through the "Tokhang" operation.
But the mayor pointed out that all of these barangays are now cleared through its various initiatives in partnership with the Philippine National Police (PNP).
These barangays received their respective certificates as drug-cleared barangay during the declaration on Friday.
The 47 drug surrenderers, meanwhile, already found negative in a recent drug testing conducted.
Aside from this, 700 barangay tanods, 500 barangay officials and 187 municipal officials also tested negative in the series of drug tests of conducted recently.
They have also intensified information campaign in the community on the ill effects of illegal drugs, orientations to the members of the MASA-MASID or Mamamayang Ayaw Sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Ilegal na Droga , among others,the mayor further said.
However,Pabilona said that after the town was cleared, the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs) are still required to pass their reports to the Municipal ADAC monthly as further monitoring.
There will also be a quarterly validation if the barangay is maintaining or sustaining the drug-free status, he added.
"If the barangay is found not maintaining the drug-free status, the oversight committee can revoke the certificate issued to that barangay," he stressed.
The municipal oversight committee is also task to monitor the anti-drug initiatives of the municipality of Maasin.
Maasin town is the second in this province declared as drug-free by PDEA 6, next to Alimodian town.
Pabilona disclosed that the town of Bingawan is also among the towns in the province seeking for the drug-free status. (PNA)