Poe urges PNP to tap support of 42,000 barangays in solving illegal drugs

October 23, 2015 5:46 am 

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, Oct. 22 (PNA) – Senator Grace Poe on Thursday encouraged the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to tap the assistance of 42,000 barangays (villages) throughout the country to solve the problem of illegal drugs.

Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, said DILG should come up with a mechanism that would enhance coordination and collaboration between the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the barangays in capturing suspected drug traffickers.

Poe said village officials play an important role in the national government’s campaign against drug trafficking and abuse, since they know exactly the dealers and users of illegal drugs in their barangays.

“There should be a clear mechanism in place to ensure better coordination between the PNP and the barangays in the reporting system of drug-related activities,” Poe pointed out.

The lawmaker also called on citizens and communities to take an active role in reporting drug violations to authorities.

“It is high time we address the drug problem at the grassroots level. Community involvement is essential to the success of the government’s anti-drug campaign,” Poe said.

She said the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC), a community-based mechanism to combat illegal drugs, must be strengthened to secure the commitment of every barangay and its residents in the fight against narcotics and crimes associated with drugs.

Drug abuse, she said, has assumed alarming proportions in the country, with 1.8 million Filipinos are currently drug dependents.

Poe said drug abuse posed a serious threat not only to public health, but also to the wellbeing and security of residents due to drug-related crimes.

She said residents should take an active role in helping law enforcement agencies battle illegal drugs.

Active role, she explained, does not mean citizens arresting suspected drug addicts and pushers, but rather to “use their eyes and ears” to monitor and report any drug activity to authorities.

“Residents must show their intolerance for drug activity and should work with the police and other government officials to make their neighborhood unwelcoming to drug abuse and trafficking,” Poe said.

Created under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, the BADAC is composed of the barangay councilor, who heads the committee on peace and order; the head of the barangay watchmen; principals of schools located in the barangays; and presidents of community associations.

The BADAC is tasked to conduct information and education campaign on the ill-effects of illegal drugs; monitor and report to proper authorities drug pushers and drug users in the locality; prepare a confidential watch list of drug users and pushers for submission to the police; plan, strategize, implement and evaluate programs and projects on drug abuse prevention in the barangay. (PNA)

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