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EV anti-illegal drug councils not functioning

Reason why illegal drugs continue to proliferate

TACLOBAN CITY- The continued proliferation of illegal drugs in he region ‘mirrors’ the non-function of anti-drug council in the barangay level.
Thus said Kenneth Joey Balase, regional focal person of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)’s barangay anti-drug abuse council (Badac) program.
Balase said that while they don’t have a solid figure to back up on their claim, majority of the region’s 4,390 Badacs are ‘organized but are not functioning’ according to their mandate.
“Based in our observation, we can say that Badacs are not functioning according to the purpose for which they were created as illegal drugs continue to proliferate in the barangay (level). It is in the barangays where these illegal drugs are being sold,” Balase said.
“The non-function of our Badacs serves as a mirror why there still illegal drugs proliferating,” he added.
He, however, cited the case of Barangays 44 and 77, both in Tacloban City, which have a functioning anti- illegal drug council which was mainly credited why these villages were among the first barangays in the country to be declared as drug-cleared.
The anti-drug council in the barangays is a mandatory-created council under the Local Government Code which is supposed to serve as the first line of defense in the fight against illegal drugs in the country.
Balase, however, said that they are dismayed that while all the 4,390 barangays in the region have existing Badacs, they were just organized for compliance purposes.
“This is the region why we are strengthening our information dissemination campaign on Badacs. That a Badac should be organized not only for the sake of compliance purposes but to help in the campaign against illegal drugs,” he said.
Balase said that sanctions are to be meted to a barangay which has its Badac but is not functioning.
“The members could either be charged for negligence or withdrawal of the internal revenue allotment (IRA) share of the said barangay,” he said.
He, however, said that not a single barangay has been meted either of the sanction mentioned.
The barangay chairman serves as the chair of the Badac with a village councilor as the vice chair with four members. The town or city police chief serves as the council’s adviser.
The government under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte is currently pursuing a massive anti-drug operations never seen in previous administrations of the country.
Balase said that because of this heightened anti-illegal drug campaign of the Duterte administration, the function of a Badacs plays a significant role to eliminate the proliferation of the illegal drugs.

By: Joey Gabieta

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