By Mortz C. Ortigoza
CALASIAO – Presidential survey’s trailblazer Senator Mary Grace Poe assailed the national government lacks of support for the revival and funding of Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC).
|Senator Grace Poe in Calasiao, Pangasinan last Tuesday|
Just like during the previous presidents of this country, BADAC she said were at the forefront fighting illegal drug peddlers.
“Noong sa panahon po ng mga nakaraang administrations meron po tayong tinatawag na barangay anti drug council o BADAC. Pero natigil na ho iyan. Ang problema ho kaunti ho ang ating mga police sa dami ho ng ating kababayan (During the past Philippines’ administrations we have BADAC but it did not push through. The problem we face now we lack policemen compare to the sheer number of our population)”.
“Kailangan bigyan ng budget ang mga barangay para tulungan sa pagsugpo ng druga. Ibig sabihin kung mag mobilize kung hinde man kaya ang mag –aresto dahil hinde kayo puedi diyan kayo ang puweding mag bigay ng tip para dito. Ito po ang ating adhikain”.
She said that the government should be giving more budgets to the villages to fight illegal drugs.
“Even village officials cannot arrest or search the suspects but they can give tips to the police,” she advocated.
She deplored that after representatives from the barangays in the country went at the Department of Interior & Local Government they went out empty handed.
DILG was headed lately by Poe’s presidential rival the survey’s cellar dweller Mar Roxas.
BADACs as local councils are tasked to conduct information and education on illegal drugs and formulate plans and programs to prevent proliferation of illegal drugs in their barangays
According to lawyer Ferdinand Panes of the DILG-Iloilo, BADACs were created as a local council way back in 1988 but have never been an active group as far as fighting drug abuse is concerned.
Poe said the revival of the BADAC will be her agenda if she wins the presidential poll next year.
“Paano ma sugpo ang problem sa drug sa ating bansa? Sabi nila nine sa bawat ten sa ating barangay meron ng problema o napasukan na ng drugs. Isa po ang ating pino-propose na ang barangay ay dapat bigyan ng utoridad at kakayahan ng DILG para maka partner ng mga pulis sa pakikipaglaban sa druga (How can we eliminate illegal drugs in the country? They said nine out ten of the villages have problems with this menace”. This what I proposed, the barangay officials will be given authority and capability by the DILG so they can partner with the police in the fight against drugs)”.
She cited that empowering the village officials will be potent because the barangay chairman knows almost everybody and almost everything in his area.
“Alam niya kung sino ang may bagong motorcycle. Alam niya kung may bagong pinanganak dahil siya ang parang tatay o di kaya nanay ng isang barangay (He knows who owns a new motor bike. He knows who was born because he was the father or mother of the village)”.
Poe was in Barangay Nalsian, a perennially flood stricken village, here last Tuesday to answer various questions fielded by different sectors that concern on teachers’ low salary, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), students scholarship, flood that haunts villages, benefits of senior citizens, illegal drugs, and, women’s concern.
She said that aside from putting more teeth on the BADAC, she advocated to give more funds to the Department of Health so poor victims of illegal drugs can avail for rehabilitation.
“Kung ikaw ay nalulung sa druga, kailangan mo magpagaling. Kaso wala pang programa para diyan kung wala kang pera. Kaya doon sa Department of Health budget tinutulak po natin na dapat magkaroon ng rehab centers sa ibat-ibang region para sa mahihirap nating kababayan na nalulong sa druga para mawala sila sa kanilang bisyo”.