By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan
MANILA – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will conduct an annual performance audit of Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (ADACs) of localities to ensure that these are actively participating in the anti-drug campaign.
“The war on drugs is everyone’s business. Hindi lamang ito laban ng DILG, ng Philippine National Police (PNP), o ng Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). Ito ay laban nating lahat kaya dapat nating siguruhin na kasama natin ang mga pamahalaang lokal sa kampanyang ito (This is not only the fight of DILG, the Philippine National Police (PNP), or the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). This is what we all are fighting against so we must make sure that we have local governments with us in this campaign),” Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said in a statement on Monday.
The audit will cover all 81 provincial ADACs, 146 city ADACs, and 1,488 municipal ADACs across the country.
They will be assessed based on the following criteria: organized local ADAC; conduct of quarterly meetings; allocation of funds for the implementation of anti-drug activities indicated in the Peace and Order and Public Safety (POPS) Plan; implementation of ADAC plans and programs; support for ADACs in component local government units (LGUs) and; innovation.
“Hindi lamang din natatapos sa rehabilitasyon ang tungkulin ng ADACs at mga LGUs. Kailangan siguruhin natin na magiging produktibong kabahagi sila ng lipunan sa kanilang paglabas sa rehabilitation centers sa pamamagitan ng skills training activities at iba pang reintegration programs (The role of ADACs and LGUs does not end with rehabilitation. We need to ensure that they will be productive members of society when they leave the rehabilitation centers through skills training activities and other reintegration programs),” said Abalos.
Abalos said the LGUs and ADACs can also coordinate with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector to strengthen their rehabilitation and drug education campaign as part of the government’s whole-of-nation approach against drugs.
On the aspect of law enforcement, Abalos reminded local officials to continue full-fledged drug-clearing operations in their areas.
“Iyan ang dalawang pagtutuunan natin ng pansin sa ilalim ng BIDA Program — supply at demand reduction. Magpapatuloy ang maigting na police anti drug operations at kasabay niyan, tutugunan natin ang ugat ng problema sa droga tulad ng kakulangan sa edukasyon at awareness, kahirapan, at unhealthy lifestyle (Those are the two we will focus on under the BIDA Program — supply and demand reduction. The intense police anti drug operations will continue and at the same time, we will address the root of the drug problem such as lack of education and awareness, poverty and unhealthy lifestyle),” he stressed.
143 drug suspects nabbed in Mimaropa
In a related development, a total of 143 drug suspects have been arrested in the Mimaropa Region from January to May 6 this year, according to Police Regional Office (PRO) 4B director Brig. Gen. Joel Doria.
Mimaropa is comprised of the provinces of Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan.
In a statement, Doria said that based data from the PNP Drug-Related Data Integration and Generation System (DRDIGS) of the Regional Operations Division showed that PRO Mimaropa had already launched 121 anti-illegal drug operations that resulted in the arrest of 143 drug suspects, yielding a total of 359.94 grams of shabu valued at PHP2,447,605.60 from January to May 6 this year.
He said the arrested drug suspects are now under police custody and facing complaints of violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 (RA 9165).
“I commend the efforts of our operatives in this successful anti-drug operation. Again, this is an evident manifestation of our unrelenting commitment towards eliminating the illegal drugs problem through the focused police operations in the region.” Doria said in a statement.
With a holistic approach as the new face of the anti-illegal drug campaign of the government, the PNP assured that the police force will remain at the forefront of the national strategy to focus on the demand reduction of illegal drugs in the country. (PNA)