ARMM’s villages organize anti-drug abuse councils
Cotabato City (October 9, 2017) – A total of 2,114 barangays in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) have organized anti-drug abuse councils, which are aimed at preventing corruption, illegal drugs and criminality at the community level.
Atty. Noor Hafizullah ‘Kirby’ M. Abdullah, secretary of the ARMM’s Interior and Local Government (DILG-ARMM), said the regional government fully supports national programs aimed at combating the illegal drug problem, especially at the barangay level.
The national office of the DILG earlier issued memorandum circulars for a unified action against illegal drugs among local government units (LGUs). Barangay officials should establish, reactivate, and/or
strengthen anti-drug abuse councils, it noted.
The Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) is considered as the first line of defense against the proliferation of prohibited drugs in the community. It is composed of barangay officials and barangay sectoral representatives having first-hand information about the members of the community.
They are to work directly with the Philippine National Police (PNP), together with Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council, or MADAC. The members of BADAC plan, strategize, implement and evaluate programs and projects on drug abuse prevention.
Ariel Castillo, barangay chief of Townsite in Maluso, Basilan whose BADAC is active, said this is a huge help in the community as it eliminates drug-related cases and ensures the safety of residents in his village.
Secretary Abdullah warned that barangay officials may face a complaint on dereliction of duty if they fail to organize a functional BADAC. “All the barangays in the region must organize their anti-drug abuse council since they are the frontlines in the fight against the drug menace. Failure to do so is (tantamount to) violation of the law,” Secretary Abdullah added.
In an official statement, DILG OIC-Secretary Catalino S. Cuy called for LGUs to install drop boxes in their communities under its MASA MASID (Mamamayang Ayaw sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Iligal na Droga) project.
Sec. Cuy said setting up drop boxes is just one of the channels by which the public may provide feedback, comments, suggestions or recommendations to the government on its anti-criminality drive for proper assessment and referral to appropriate agencies.
Other DILG and local government channels are: a hotline, electronic mail, short messaging system, or texts, among others. (Bureau of Public Information)