By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Tuesday urged President Rodrigo Duterte to reactivate the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) to prevent illegal drugs from entering the country’s shores.
Sotto said the BADAC could solve the Philippines’ lingering problem on the entry of illegal drugs through its shorelines.
“That problem has been there for a long time and that is why I created the BADAC in RA (Republic Act) 9165,” Sotto, an author to the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, said.
Sotto agreed with Duterte that the country’s shoreline is longer than that of the United States of America. He also conceded that the Philippine Coast Guard ”is not as equipped as theirs.”
Activating the BADAC, according to Sotto, “would greatly help” in the Duterte administration’s push to prevent the shipment of illegal drugs since “there is a Barangay in every island” to lead its campaign against drugs.
Sotto noted some barangays governing the islands have yet to activate their own anti-drug abuse councils, despite the Department of Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) repeated orders.
The DILG, last year, filed charges against barangay officials who failed to organize their BADACs.
A DILG memorandum issued in June 2015 revitalized the BADACs to emphasize its role in the government’s efforts to curb illegal drugs.
The barangays, it said, should “lead the fight against illegal drugs.”
In May 2018, the DILG, along with the Dangerous Drugs Board, came up with a joint memorandum laying out the implementing guidelines on the functionality and effectiveness of local anti-drug abuse councils.