THE community-based program against corruption and crime of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is seen to lower the crime rate in Negros Occidental following its launch province-wide.

DILG Assistant Secretary for Barangay Affairs Roosque Calacat led the launching of Mamamayang Ayaw sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Iligal na Droga (Masa Masid) in the cities of Kabankalan and Sagay on February 1 and 2, respectively.

Mayors and barangay officials, who signed the Pledge of Commitment, from all the six districts attended the launching.

Ma. Joy Maredith Madayag, DILG provincial head, said Thursday the crime rate in the province and the supply of illegal drugs have declined even before Masa Masid was launched.

However, she pointed out that the community-based campaign will boost the efforts of the national government in suppressing illegal drugs and crimes.

Madayag said the program aims to encourage communities to take a proactive stance in the government’s fight against corruption, illegal drugs, and criminality.

Moreover, the program is also geared at helping the rehabilitation and aftercare of drug surrenderers, she said.

Madayag said the orientation on how to go about the campaign in the communities is expected to start in the middle of February.

Under the DILG memorandum, the program has four main thrusts: information and education campaign in communities for government programs against corruption, illegal drugs and criminality; creation of a reporting mechanism on illegal drugs-related activities; formulation of community-based rehabilitation programs; and reviving the spirit of volunteerism by creating a volunteer-friendly atmosphere for organizations that wish to be partners for change.