BAGUIO CITY – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has cited 58 municipal and barangay local government units (LGUs) in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) for being among the top performing areas compliant with the whole-of-nation anti-illegal drugs campaign.
Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr., in a message read by Director Debbie Gonzales of the Bureau of Local Government, congratulated the 58 anti-drugs abuse councils (ADAC) "regional awardees and national awardees that have proven to be highly functional and have achieved a passing score of the awarding criteria including their effort on barangay drug clearing.”
Gonzales read Abalos' speech during the awarding ceremony for the Best Performing LGUs cum Buhay Ingatan, Droga ay Ayawan (BIDA) on Wednesday.
“Your significant contribution and outstanding performance especially our committed local chief executives, governors, city and municipal mayors, and even punong barangays helped the nation maintain peace and security by keeping illegal drugs at bay and protecting our vulnerable communities,” Abalos added.
The 11 municipalities receiving the award were: La Paz in Abra; Kibungan in Benguet; Asipulo, Hingyon and Tinoc in Ifugao; Pasil and Tanudan in Kalinga; and Barlig, Bauko, Bontoc and Sadanga in Mountain Province.
There were also 37 regional awardees, six high-functional ADACs, and 15 municipalities with 100-percent functional barangay ADACs.
The secretary said the active and effective ADACs have helped the communities maintain peace and order.
He said the DILG’s BIDA campaign is a whole-of-nation approach to encourage awareness and participation of all sectors of the community by bridging LGUs, stakeholders, and local organizations.
Abalos cited the CAR for having a fully and moderately functional ADACs.
“Ibig sabihin po nito ay wala, zero, walang ADAC mula sa CAR ang bumagsak sa audit (that means none, zero, no ADAC from CAR failed in the audit).”
He, however, urged those with moderate ratings to aim for a high functional standing in the 2023 and 2024 audits.
Abalos urged the ADACs to focus on the indicators such as strengthening the barangay drug clearing efforts, community-based drug rehabilitation programs, and become innovative by creating possible partnerships with local organizations and other LGUs that will be both beneficial to their respective localities.
“I hope that with these efforts, CAR will be 100 percent high functional ADACs in 2023 or 2024,” the official said.
Records show that 777 barangays have been declared drug-cleared, 340 drug-free, and 22 drug-unaffected, with only 39 remaining affected barangays.
The Police Regional Office-Cordillera (PROCor) had earlier said that the remaining affected barangays are mostly far-flung where marijuana cultivation thrives.
PROCor said the all-government approach involves the construction of road networks and the provision of livelihood assistance that will encourage residents to stop marijuana planting. (PNA)
AWARDING. Director Debbie Gonzales of the Bureau of Local Government of the Department of the Interior and Local Government delivers the message of Secretary Benjamin Abalos during the awarding of the Best Performing local government units in the Cordillera region during an event in Baguio City on Wednesday (Feb. 9, 2023). Abalos said the active and effective anti-drug abuse councils have helped communities in the region maintain peace and order. (PNA photo by Liza T. Agoot)