By Chito Chavez
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is set to launch a massive information drive that will guide the electorate to select the best barangay officials in the coming barangay elections.
The DILG said it is committed to weed out elected officials who are corrupt, especially those involved in illegal drugs.
DILG officer-in-charge (OIC) Eduardo M. Año said the DILG will be coming up with the qualities of a good barangay officials which will serve as a citizen’s guide in the forthcoming Barangay and SK elections.
He said the criteria in voting for the officials will be based on the qualities of being “Matino, Mahusay and Maasahan (Righteous, Effective, Dependable)”.
“The barangays are at the forefront of government service; therefore, we will encourage the people to vote for a new set of barangay officials who are committed to the Duterte administration’s anti-corruption, anti-drug, and anti-criminality campaign. The National Government needs barangay officials who are committed to reform in the barangay level,” said Año.
“The DILG is committed to be an instrument for a well-informed public as they exercise their right to vote this 2018 Barangay and SK Elections, making certain that voters will head to their precincts armed with the proper know-how,” he added.
Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya, DILG Spokesperson said that as part of their information drive, the DILG will encourage the people to vote for barangay officials who have cleared their communities of the menace of illegal drugs or are actively supporting the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign.
“The PDEA has informed us that 58.1 percent of our 42,036 barangays are affected in varying degrees by the scourge of illegal drugs. Therefore, we need barangay officials who will help the government clear these areas of drug pushers,” said Malaya.
Drug-affected areas are grouped into three: “slightly affected,” where drug users are present; “moderately affected” or areas with drug pushers and “seriously affected” or places with shabu tiangge or store, clandestine laboratory or marijuana plantation or chemical warehouse.
“This is not simply a matter of law enforcement. We need to bring the fight against drugs down to the barangay level. And we will never succeed if the barangay officials are doing nothing,” he said.
“The forthcoming barangay elections are a good opportunity for the people to elect barangay officials who will bring much-needed change to their communities,” said Malaya.
A joint meeting was held earlier where representatives of the DILG and COMELEC plotted out the information drive for the 2018 Barangay and SK Elections.
The DILG’s Public Affairs and Communication Service and the National Barangay Operations Office will lead in carrying out the strategic communication plan of the information drive.
Also present in the joint meeting was Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez who pushed for further educating the voters and candidates on the proper elections protocol, which oftentimes, according to him, are disregarded and disrespected.
Jimenez said that the DILG-COMELEC information drive will also include the proper filing of certificate of candidacy, rules on overspending of candidates, the duties and responsibilities of elected officials, among others.
The communication plan involves various television and radio guesting, joint press conferences of the DILG and Comelec, Election Caravan, dissemination of “Matino, Mahusay at Maaasahan” information and education campaign collaterals, among others.
Año also assured the public that the DILG will work double-time in advocating for an honest, orderly and peaceful Barangay and SK Elections.
“Elections can be a venue for political maneuvering and we at the DILG will do our best to address such concerns. But we cannot do it alone, we need the support of the Filipino voters to be vigilant in protecting their votes,” added Año.
The 2018 Barangay and SK Elections are slated on May 14, 2018.