DEPARTMENT of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. has directed local government units (LGUs) to help strengthen the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (Badacs) in their respective jurisdictions in a bid to sustain the campaign against illegal drugs in the country.

In his speech before governors and city and municipal mayors in Northern Mindanao who undergo the basic Newly Elected Officials (NEO) Orientation in Cagayan De Oro City, Abalos emphasized the need of strengthening their Badacs in order to address the drug menace at the grassroots level.

He said Badacs play a critical role in the Whole-of-Government approach in countering the proliferation of illegal drugs in the communities.

“Humihingi po ako ng tulong about illegal drugs. We will intensify the war on drugs, and we will start at the grassroots. So please, I am requesting you to harness the capability and strengthen your Badacs,” Abalos said.

“Nanawagan tayo sa mga gobernador at mayors na siguruhin na ang ating mga Badac ay maayos na gumagana at nakakatulong sa pagprotekta sa mga komunidad laban sa iligal na droga at mga tagapagpalaganap nito,” he added.

Badac is the program of the DILG aimed at organizing barangay officials and other stakeholders as the first line of defense in countering drug-related crimes in barangays.

Abalos also assured the local government executives (LCEs) in Northern Mindanao that the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is a government that listens and actively seeks consultations with local officials and various stakeholders on issues being encountered on the ground.

He noted that the DILG will keep its lines open for all LCEs to be an efficient bridge between the national and local governments.

“Huwag kayong mahihiya sa akin. Do not treat me as a secretary, it’s the other way around. Kayo ang boss ko,” Abalos said.

“I’m here to serve you, not for me to just give orders. I’m not that kind of person. That is how we shall espouse unity among us, that is how we shall espouse being proactive,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)