DILG: 20,000 drug infested barangays in PH

DILG Secretary Año said they will give barangays one year to rid of the illegal problems in their barangays. (Juliet Revita)

THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued anew a stern warning against barangay officials who are not cooperating with the government on the anti-illegal drug campaign.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said that there are still about 20,000 drug-infested barangays in the country despite the continuous effort of the government on the war on drugs.

“Pananagutin namin 'yong mga barangay captains. Dapat for example [kung] drug-affected ang barangay na yan, bibigyan ka namin ng isang taon para maalis ang drug diyan, tutulungan karin namin,” Año said.

He further said, “Kailangan maging functional ang Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (Badac) mo at ‘yan napunduhan at tatakbo yan at susukatin namin diyan ang effectiveness at efficiency ng Badac. Kapag hindi mo gawin yan then we will apply the appropriate sanction that is applicable to you.”

Badac is considered the first line of defense against the proliferation of prohibited drugs its members primarily consist of village officials and barangay sectoral representatives.

Under the DILG memorandum, failure of local officials to appropriate a portion of their budget to assist or enhance Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 is a ground for disapproval of a barangay’s annual budget. Administrative charges for dereliction of duty will also be filed against violators.

“Kailangan nating gawin to kasi tumakbo ka bilang government official may mandato ka, gawin mo 'yong nararapat,” Año told the village officials.

Meanwhile, he also backed the mandatory and random drug testing among government officials to ensure that those who are in the position are not involved in illegal drugs. Earlier, of the 47 officials on the government’s narcolist, 37 ran for reelection and 28 won.

“Ang mandatory drug test para sa akin ay dapat isagawa yan both random and mandatory. ‘Yong mandatory kasi iba. Pagkatapos mong mag drug test negative ka okay kana dapat hindi lang dapat once, from time to time may random testing din tayo,” he added.

Submitting themselves on drug testing is also a way of setting as an example for their constituents.

He added that in Davao region, there were only few drug-affected barangays and most of the affected regions in the country are in the National Capital Region, Cebu, Western Visayas, Bicol, and municipalities of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.


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