Pampanga strengthens barangay anti-drugs abuse councils

In support of President Rodrigo Duterte’s all-out campaign against drug trafficking, Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda and Vice Governor Dennis Pineda have started on Tuesday a series of orientation for Barangay Anti-Drugs Abuse Councils (BADAC) in 505 barangays to strengthen their roles in the provincial government’s reformation and reintegration program.

The orientation began in the province’s 2nd District, gathering at least 1,044 BADAC members from the towns of Guagua, Lubao, Sasmuan, Sta. Rita, Floridablanca and Porac.

Created by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in 1998 through Memorandum No. 227, the ADAC at the provincial, municipal, city and barangay levels were designed to be the DILG’s first line of defense against illegal drugs.

DILG Memorandum No. 2015-63, issued on June 16, 2015, revitalized the BADAC. It is chaired by the barangay captain, co-chaired by the kagawad heading the peace and order committee. Its members include heads of women and family council, Sangguniang Kabataan, public school principal, head of the tanod, and representatives of a non-government organization and a faith-based group. The chief of police serves as BADAC adviser.

The tasks of BADAC include disseminating information on the ills of illegal drugs, monitoring drug cases, making confidential lists of suspected users, pushers, financiers and protectors, and maintaining a rehabilitation/referral desks for users wanting to stop the addiction.

Barangay leaders who fail to do their tasks in the BADAC will face an administrative case for dereliction of duty under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act. They will also face a criminal case if they are found to be using drugs, selling drugs or protecting the drugs trade.

Angelina Blanco, officer of the Pampanga Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, presented the reformation and reintegration program, more known as Dalan ning Pamagbayu (Road to Change). It was launched on July 20 when more than 10,000 drug users pushers from the province’s 19 towns and two cities surrendered to the police.

On a P10-million budget approved by the Provincial Peace and Order Council and Sangguniang Panlalawigan, the provincial government is financing the rehabilitation of drug users evaluated to be needing treatment, developing a rehabilitation center where users can do productive activities, among others.

“You have a big responsibility in stopping drugs,” Governor Pineda told BADAC members gathered at the Lubao Gym.

Vice Governor Pineda requested the BADAC to monitor users who have surrendered and to convince other users and pushers to surrender.

BADAC orientations for the 1st, 4th and 3rd Districts are simultaneously set on July 29, Friday.

Also on Tuesday, Governor Pineda and Vice Governor Pineda organized at the Kingsborough International Convention Center here a coordination meeting of mayors and councilors with regional directors of various agencies such as the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education , Department of Environment and Natural Resources and National Economic and Development Authority.

Vice Governor Pineda said the DOLE can possibly help by providing emergency employment, the DSWD for counselling and food-for-work and the DOH for drug test kits.

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