DILG vows support to anti-drug plan

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INTERIOR Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento has assured the continuing support of his department and its attached agencies to the National Anti-Drug Plan of Action (NADPA) that President Benigno Aquino 3rd ordered implemented and institutionalized.

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NADPA is the blueprint that describes the strategies and programs to be undertaken by the government in achieving a drug-resistant and eventually a drug-free Philippines from 2015 to 2022.

It is a product of planning workshops and consultation meetings conducted with members of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), partner agencies, and stakeholders in the anti-drug advocacy.

“Suppressing and eradicating drug supply and demand are a big part of maintaining public order and safety for our present and future citizenry. Since its activation in October 2015, the Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-illegal Drugs Group (AIDG) has been proactively conducting all-out and sustained operations against drug syndicates and personalities,” Sarmiento said in a statement.

Under the plan, the PNP will coordinate with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in the conduct of anti-drug operations.

The DILG will establish Special Drug Education Centers (SDECs) in each province and encourage highly-urbanized and independent component cities to establish their own SDECs that shall be supervised by the local chief executive.

The department will also strengthen the criminal justice system and legal reforms through its attached agencies — the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Philippine Public Safety College, and National Police Commission Technical Committee on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

“The DILG revitalized the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) in June 2015 and emphasized to local authorities, especially barangay officials, their principal role in drug clearing operations. Being the first line of defense, barangays should lead the fight against illegal drugs through the campaign called Mamamayan, Sugpuin ang Iligal na Droga (MASID),” Sarmiento said.

On the other hand, local government units (LGUs) will set aside a substantial portion of their annual budgets to enhance the anti-drug campaign in their respective localities, giving priority to preventive education and treatment or rehabilitation of drug dependents.

Aquino has directed all government offices, departments, bureaus, agencies, offices and government-owned and controlled corporations to implement the NADPA until 2022, with DDB serving as the lead agency.

The plan has five pillars of action — drug supply reduction, drug demand reduction, alternative development, civic awareness response, and regional and international cooperation.

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