Cabugao, Bato is now drug-cleared; LGUs crafting anti-drug plan of action

CABUGAO IN BATO IS A DRUG-CLEARED BARANGAY. Punong Barangay Nenita T. Taraya holds the certificate issued by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) through its Regional Oversight Committee last week. With the village chief are Mayor Juan T. Rodulfo, MLGOO VI Joel V Maglaqui, Bato MPS OIC PLt Lorenzo M. Alberto and other focal persons of the Barangay Drug Clearing Program.

Barangay Cabugao has been cleared of illegal drugs, according to the Regional Oversight Committee (ROC) following a virtual deliberation last Nov. 24, 2022 together with the barangay captainl and focal persons of the Barangay Drug Clearing Program (BDCP).

Punong Barangay Nenita T. Taraya received the drug-cleared certification at the conclusion of the meeting held at the Catanduanes provincial office of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) at San Isidro Village, Virac.

The certification that Cabugao is no longer affected by the scourge of illegal drugs was made after due deliberations that ended a long process based on evidence on drug affectation in the barangay.

Mayor Juan T. Rodulfo witnessed the deliberation along with MLGOO VI Joel Maglaqui and PLt. Lorenzo Alberto, officer-in-charge of the Bato police station.

Among the 27 barangays in the town, 16 of the 17 villages affected by illegal drugs have been declared drug-cleared while another 10 are considered drug-free. Only one barangay has yet to be cleared of illegal drugs in the municipality.

The Barangay Drug Clearing Program is a whole-of-nation approach to respond to the campaign against illegal drugs through the help of various government agencies, communities and private groups to prevent the proliferation of the drug menace that has led to an uptick in crime incidence and destroyed the lives of individuals and families, particularly the youth.

Meanwhile, local government units have been urged by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to formulate their local anti-drug plan of action (LADPA) and barangay anti-drug plan of action (BADPA) that responds to the needs of their localities.

The action plans, which is due before the end of December 2022, is a key ingredient of the DILG’s flagship campaign against illegal drugs: the Buhay Ingatan, Droga’y Ayawan (BIDA) Program.

Last week, DILG Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos, Jr. said that LGUs must include in their LADPA/BADPA initiatives and efforts that will strengthen their campaign against illegal drugs and specify programs and activities that shall be given budget allocation in their respective annual budget relative to anti-illegal drug efforts.

“Our anti-illegal drugs campaign takes a whole-of-government approach which would only be efficient if we are able to execute plans such as LADPA and BAPDA down at the grassroots. It is imperative that our LGUs work with us and draft their respective LADPAs and BADPAs in the barangays,” Abalos said.

He said that by doing this, LGUs can significantly contribute to the BIDA program, the revitalized anti-drug advocacy campaign of the government that aims to reduce drug demand in the communities by harnessing the support of LGUs, national government agencies (NGAs), private sectors, faith-based organizations (FBOs), and civil society organizations (CSOs).

LADPA/BADPA is anchored on Republic Act No. 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2022 which embodies the national government’s commitment to eradicating the country’s illegal drugs problem.

In DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2022-141, Abalos encouraged provincial and city/municipal local chief executives (LCEs) to formulate their 2023-2025 LADPA within their first 200 days in office, specifying their anti-illegal drug programs and activities based on their localities’ drug situation.

He said the LADPA shall include the anti-illegal drugs situation of the locality for accurate decision-making; priority anti-illegal drugs issues and challenges, prioritizing supply and demand reduction; objectives to address the local issues and challenges; critical policies, programs, projects, services and activities (PPPSAs) for the anti-illegal drugs issues; and funding requirements of the PPPSAs. The LADPA shall also include the physical and financial accomplishment reports of the existing LADPA.

Likewise, Abalos urged BADACs to prepare their three-year BADPA that includes the formulated strategies, identified projects and funding requirements.

The planning and submission of LADPA shall be until December 2022, while the encoding of the approved action plan shall proceed from January to March 2023. Likewise, the preparation and submission of BADPA and its approval shall take place from January to May 2023.

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