Makati intensifies drive against illegal drugs at barangay level

MANILA, Philippines – The Makati City government has intensified its drive against illegal drugs at the barangay level.

Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay on Tuesday urged city residents to participate in the series of forums on the illegal drugs menace slated to start this month for barangay clusters, underscoring their crucial role in the attainment of drug-free communities throughout the city.

Binay said the Makati Anti-Drug Abuse Council (MADAC) will conduct the “Ugnayan sa mga Barangay” by barangay cluster, instead of per barangay when it was launched last year, to strengthen collaboration among neighboring barangays in the fight against illegal drugs.

“We urge our residents to attend the forum and actively contribute to the discussions so that important concerns can be relayed to the proper authorities. We have grouped adjacent barangays for each forum to encourage a more collaborative approach to solving the drug problem,” Binay said.

Binay said that by sharing information on illegal drug activities in their respective areas, barangays in each cluster can collectively strengthen their surveillance network and monitoring system against drug pushing and drug abuse.

The first cluster Ugnayan will be held on May 15, Friday, from 10am to 12noon at Bangkal Barangay Hall. The barangays scheduled for the said forum are San Isidro, Bangkal, Palanan and Pio del Pilar with around 20 participants for each barangay.

On May 22, Barangays La Paz, San Antonio and Singkamas are slated for the forum to be held at the Barangay Hall of San Antonio, also from 10am to 12noon. The following Friday, May 29, residents from barangays Carmona, Kasilawan, Olympia and Poblacion will be participating in the Ugnayan at Kasilawan Barangay Hall, same time.

The topics for discussion in the Ugnayan agenda include random drug testing, treatment and rehabilitation, young offenders called “batang hamog” and “kalakal boys”, youth organizations and fraternities, among others. It will be attended by MADAC officers, DILG-Makati, city government offices including the health department, social welfare department, information and community relations department, city prosecutor and religious groups.

MADAC had been granted recognition by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in 2011 for its exceptional contributions in preventive and control strategies in combating the drug problem.

In 2013, the Department of Education-National Capital Region (DepEd-NCR) and the Division of City Schools of Makati (DepEd-Makati) commended MADAC for conducting an intensive information campaign in educating students about the dangers of drug abuse as part of the city government’s advocacy of a ‘Drug-free Makati’.

MADAC is chaired by Mayor Binay, with Makati Police deputy chief of police for administration, Supt Jaime Santos as operations chief.

The MADAC’s 76 personnel man the different units consisting of the administrative division, operations division, finance division, logistics division, legal division, PETID division (preventive, education, training and information dissemination) and the TRAC division (treatment, rehabilitation and after-care). The legal division also has a subpoena and warrant section.