Mayor: Set aside political alliances in fight vs drugs

(The Freeman) - November 15, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama yesterday said that politics should not be involved in the fight against drugs.

The mayor pointed this out in response to queries on the possibility that the absence of some barangay officials in the activities related to the Anti-Drug Awareness week is due to political affiliation.

“Dapat di man na sa loyalty of parties because drugas transcend and it goes beyond boundaries,” Rama said after yesterday’s oathtaking activity of Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) officers at the Cebu City Hall.

While Rama said that he was pleased that more barangay officials participated in the said activity as compared to the opening of the Anti-Drug Awareness week on Monday where there were only 10 out of 80 barangays represented, he cited that there were still some officials who did not show up to the event.

Rama initially cited that Barangay Ermita, for one, was not represented.  But Dr. Alice Utlang, head of the City’s Office on Substance Abuse Prevention (COSAP), said that Barangay Ermita sent a representative.

Based on previous reports, 13 workers from Barangay Ermita admitted to using illegal drugs.

“We will just monitor Ermita. And daghan na sad ta’g mga approaches nga gibuhat diha,” Rama said.

The oathtaking was part of the Anti-Drug Awareness Week spearheaded by the Cebu City government, particularly the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (CADAC) and COSAP.

Almost 500 officials attended the BADAC oathtaking yesterday composed of members of BADAC, barangay captains, chief of police stations in Cebu City, PTA presidents and school principals, and officials of other government agencies and non government organizations.

The drug awareness week will culminate with a “March for Drug-Free Cebu” on Sunday, 1 p.m. from Fuente Osmeña to Plaza Independencia.

Meanwhile, Rama stressed that the activation of the BADAC is an advantageous move in the fight against drugs.

“Very primordial jud na because bottom to up man ang ato approach. Ato sad gi-emphasize ang inverted pyramid that the power is dili sa dagko it is within the people,” Rama said.

The BADAC is tasked to conduct information-drives on illegal drugs and to formulate plans and programs to prevent proliferation of illegal drugs in the barangays.

BADAC is created by the virtue of DILG memorandum issued by then secretary Joey Lina in 1998 and in the memorandum circular of DILG Secretary Mar Roxas in 2012, which provides the strengthening of city, municipal and drug abuse councils.

Rama yesterday encouraged the barangay officials to actively do its job.

CADAC presiding officer Clarence Paul Oaminal earlier stated that BADAC reports are usually not accurate.

In order to prevent the false BADAC reports, Oaminal stated that starting December of this year, all reports will be make under oath so that if the reports will be proven wrong, the barangay officials will be slapped with perjury cases.

According to the DILG memorandum circular, honorariums for barangay officials will be put on hold if there are no BADAC reports submitted, Oaminal said.— Glenda Tapang, USJ-R MassComm intern/ATO (FREEMAN)

BADAC BARANGAY BARANGAY ERMITA CEBU CITY CEBU CITY HALL DRUG DRUG ABUSE COUNCIL DRUG AWARENESS OFFICIALS RAMA
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