PHILIPPINE Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Isidro S. Lapeña yesterday underscored the crucial role barangay officials have in the ongoing war on drugs by the Duterte government, and said each of the country’s over 42,000 barangays should lead the crackdown against illegal drug trafficking and abuse in their own communities.
The PDEA chair said that it is imperative that barangay officials lead the war on drugs at the grassroots level and create their respective anti-drug abuse councils since they obviously know the drug personalities in their territories.
“It is imperative that every barangay must have an anti-drug abuse council,” said Lapeña, citing Memorandum Circular (MC) 2015-63 by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) which states the importance of Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils, or BADACs, to curb the proliferation and use of illegal drugs in the neighborhood and their role in drug-clearing operations.
“However, the problem is that a considerable number of barangays nationwide do not have a BADAC or an anti-drug program for their constituents,” he said.
Lapeña said lack of a BADAC in a concerned barangay is a direct violation of the law.
“The BADACs were deputized and empowered to plan and implement strategic policies; and evaluate programs and projects on drug prevention and control, given the political and police powers of the barangay to administer the affairs of the community,” he said.
The DILG memorandum circular states that every BADAC should be composed of the following officers: a. Chairperson: Punong Barangay; b. Vice Chairperson: Barangay Kagawad (Chair of Peace and Order); c. Members: Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Chairman; School Principal (Public); Executive Officer; NGOs Society Representative; Parents Teachers Association; Religious Organization and NGOs.
The DILG Memorandum Circular (MC) 2015-63 explicitly states that in failure of concerned local authorities and officials to appropriate a substantial portion of their Annual Budgets to assist in or enhance the enforcement of Republic Act 9165, or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, as mandatorily required by law in all budget preparations, shall be a ground for disapproval of their Annual Budget on review and for possible administrative case of dereliction of duty pursuant to Section 60 of the Local Government Code.