From 65-percent drug-affected invillages, Tablate said it was now recorded at 20 percent. ILOILO – Three local government unitsin the province were declared drug-cleared, the Philippine Drug EnforcementAgency in Western Visayas (PDEA-6) said. He added Miagao, which has 119villages, Passi City with 51 and Igbaras with 46 are now given the challenge onsustaining the drug-cleared status. The official declaration was doneduring a program in Miag-ao town on Wednesday; Passi City on Thursday; andIgbaras town on Friday. PDEA-6 regional director Alex Tablate Miagao mayor Macario Napulan,meanwhile, said the problem of drugs in the town has been addressed through thegovernment’s efforts. Tablate, meanwhile, said the publicexpects more local government units in the region to follow suit as Guimbal,Iloilo will also be declared drug-cleared next week.(With a report from PNA/PN) Tablate said drug-cleared status doesnot guarantee that illegal drug activities would stop since there is apossibility that newly-identified drug personalities will emerge in thelocalities. Passi City mayor Stephen Palmares saidthe drug-cleared status of the city was achieved through the cooperation of theresidents and other stakeholders. “True to our words, we have worked toachieve this status and we will continue our efforts to maintain this,”Palmares said. To maintain the drug-cleared status,Napulan formed a “clustering” of villages that has identified its own head. “It does not stop with thedeclaration. In fact, they shall double their effort because they need tomaintain, especially the villages,” Tablate said, adding the Balay Silangan canhelp the local government unit maintain its status. PDEA-6 regional director Alex Tablateon Thursday said all of the villages in the towns of Miag-ao and Igbaras, andIloilo’s component city of Passi were declared “unaffected,” citing the resultof the deliberation of the Regional Oversight Committee (ROC). Tablate said the local governmentunits have established its respective Balay Silangan that will cater to therehabilitation of drug surrenderers. Members of the ROC include the PDEA,the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Health,and the Philippine National Police. When he assumed office in July,Palmares has vowed to clear Passi of illegal drugs by the end of 2019. Since President Rodrigo Duterteassumed office in 2016, he said there is a huge difference in the drugsituation in Western Visayas. “I meet with the cluster heads weeklyto get updates or reports on drugs to maintain our drug-cleared status,”Napulan said. “The Balay Silangan is vital tosustain the drug-cleared status of a municipality or city. If there are stillpusher-surrenderers in a drug-cleared local government unit, they will find ithard to troubleshoot and they will revert back to drug-affected status,”Tablate said. In Western Visayas, the Miag-ao townwas the first to be declared as drug-cleared, as it was the first to complywith the required Balay Silangan, he added.