Barangays told to activate anti-drug abuse councils

MANILA The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is requiring all barangay captains to activating their respective Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs) lest they could face administrative charges.

In a statement Monday, Officer-in-Charge Secretary Eduardo M. AAo said activating the BADACs shows the village chiefs' commitment to rid their communities of illegal drugs.

AAo said the barangay captains, as the first line of defense, should lead the fight against illegal drugs and the activation of the BADACs would ensure a united effort to carry out the government's anti-illegal drugs campaign in the community level.

Pinag-aaralan na natin ang mga kasong isasampa sa lahat ng Punong Barangay, so sana umaksyon na kayo bago mahuli ang lahat (We are now studying the cases to be filed against all barangay captains, so I hope you take action now before it's too late), he said.

The DILG Secretary has designated Undersecretary for Barangay Affairs Martin DiAo to monitor compliance with his directives and to recommend the immediate filing of charges against non-performing barangay officials.

AAo said it is the role of BADACs to plan, strategize, implement, and evaluate programs and projects on drug abuse prevention in the barangay, as well as to organize and orient BADAC auxiliary teams on their roles in formulating the plan of action to address the problem.

He added the BADACS are also expected to coordinate and collaborate with other institutions like the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the municipal or city government in carrying out the programs.

The DILG chief said the BADAC must gather information about all drug-related incidents in their areas and submit this to the PNP or the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency for validation.

He added the BADACs should also refer suspected drug users to the city/municipal ADAC and other institutions for counseling and/or rehabilitation.

Moreover, the body is also tasked to conduct an information and education campaign on illegal drug demand reduction and monitor the disposition of drug-related cases filed.

The BADAC is composed of the Punong Barangay as chairperson and the Sangguniang Barangay (SB) member, who is the chair of the peace and order committee, as vice chairperson.

The members are the SB member who is the chair of the committee on women and family; Sangguniang Kabataan chair; public school principal or his or her representative; the chief tanod (watchman); and one representative each from a faith-based organization or a non-government organization (NGO).

Serving as BADAC adviser would be the city or municipal chief of police or his representative.

In the reports of the DILG's National Barangay Operations Office (NBOO), 94 percent or 39,417 of the 42,036 barangays nationwide have already organized their BADACs.

Of the 39,417 compliant barangays, 86 percent have organized their auxiliary teams.

However, only 61 percent have formulated their BADAC Plan of Action.

Likewise, the DILG also reminded all barangay captains to ensure that the BADACs are functional and are implementing anti-illegal drug activities based on their BADAC Plan of Action.

Source: Philippine News Agency