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Mayor Rex Gatchalian: Valenzuela City now 85% cleared

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Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian on Friday disclosed that nearly 85 percent or 28 of the city’s 33 barangays (villages), have been cleared of illegal drugs.

“Recently, another four barangays have been cleared to be drug-free barangays or drug-cleared barangays for a total of eight barangays,” Gatchalian said in a media forum held at the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

He noted that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) describes such areas as “drug-cleared” and admits to having difficulty in declaring barangays as “drug-free.”

Gatchalian also announced that “the BADAC (Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council) is complete in Valenzuela.”

The BADAC is responsible for the implementation of projects and programs to be able to effectively eradicate the drug problem in the barangay. It also submits its report to the DILG.

“Kulang na lang sa inventory sa barangay (Only the inventory in the barangays is lacking),” Gatchalian said.

The barangay inventory report refers to the list of expenses incurred by the village in so far as their respective projects and programs are concerned.

“It is clear under the law that reports are mandatory requirement of the DILG as far as the LGU (local government unit) is concerned,” he added, referring to the BADAC and the inventory reports.

The DILG has earlier filed administrative charges before the Office of the Ombudsman against 15 barangay chairmen who failed to establish their respective BADACs.

It has also filed criminal charges against a Malabon city village chairman for alleged involvement in illegal drugs. (PNA)