DILG reminds barangays to submit drug watchlist

THE Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Western Visayas reminded the barangay leaders to regularly submit their respective illegal drug watchlist to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

This is in lieu of the top priority of President Rodrigo Duterte, which is to fight illegal drugs in the country.

DILG-Western Visayas Director Anthony Nuyda confirmed that all barangays in the region have already formed their respective Barangay Advisory Council (Badac).

However, he stressed they are closely monitoring if the barangays are complying with the requirements of the law for their Badac to be functional.

"They should have plans and allocated budget for Badac," he added.

DILG Assistant Secretary for External and Legislative Affairs Ricojudge Janvier Echiverri said over the weekend that they are filing charges against 73 barangays all over the country for failure to establish Badac in their areas.

Nuyda said that no barangays from Western Visayas are included in the 73 erring villages.

Badac is considered the first line of defense against the proliferation of prohibited drugs in the community since its members primarily consist of village officials and barangay sectoral representatives, having first-hand information about the members of the community.

With the government's unrelenting campaign against illegal drugs, they play a vital role in drug clearing operations.

Badac, based on DILG Memorandum Circular 2015, is chaired by the village captain and the village council member-chairman on committee of peace and order as the vice chair.

Nuyda said there are barangays in Negros Occidental that are affected by illegal drugs. "The PNP has the list of the barangays that are heavily-affected or mildly-affected by illegal drugs."

He also advised the voters to be guided accordingly in choosing the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials on the May 14 elections.

"Do not vote for candidates who are involved in illegal drugs and corruption," Nuyda warned the electorate.