Interior and Local Government OIC-Secretary Catalino S. Cuy on Wednesday said that the putting up drop boxes in communities (LGUs) is meant to elicit feedback and suggestions from the residents on the government’s drive against illegal drugs, criminality, corruption and violent extremism, and not to fish for names of alleged drug suspects.
Cuy made the clarification as several sectors have questioned the DILG directive calling on LGUs to install drop boxes in their communities under its MASA MASID (Mamamayang Ayaw sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Iligal na Droga) project.
“The drop boxes are not for fishing out information. They are there for feedback because we want the public to be involved in our efforts,” he said.
Cuy also explained that setting up drop boxes is just one of the channels by which the public may provide feedback, comments, suggestions or recommendations to the government on its anti-criminality drive for proper assessment and referral to appropriate agencies. Other such mediums are through a hotline, electronic mail, short messaging system or texts, among others.
“Of course, all the information given through the drop box will have to be checked, validated and verified. There is going to be a process in handling these. We won’t take everything hook, line and sinker,” Cuy added.
According to him, drop boxes are common among banks, private organizations and even government agencies like the Civil Service Commission to get feedback on how they are faring in the delivery of their services.
MASA MASID is a multi-sectoral and mass-based project that banks on the innate spirit of volunteerism among Filipinos to promote synergy between the state and the private sector to rid the country of the above-mentioned menaces in the society.
At present, a total of 127,959 Filipinos nationwide have registered as MASA MASID Volunteers (MMVs) and have joined the national government in the fight against corruption, illegal drugs, criminality, violent extremism, and other threats to peace and security.
Ninety-five percent (95%) of the cities and municipalities across the country have
organized their respective MASA MASID Technical Working Groups (TWGs).
At the barangay levels, about 91% of the 42,036 barangays across the country have also organized their respective MASA MASID Teams (MMTs).
“These sheer number of MASA MASID TWGs, teams, and volunteers just show that the Filipino spirit of volunteerism is still present in the hearts of many our kababayans,” Cuy said.
The MASA MASID TWG is composed of representatives from the DILG Field Officer, City/Municipal Administrator or designated Department Head, Chief of Police, Liga ng mga Barangay C/M Chapter President, representatives from faith-based organizations, civil society organization, anti-drug abuse council, and peace and order council.
Meanwhile, the MMT is composed of Punong Barangay, Sangguniang Barangay who is the Chairperson on the Committee of Peace and Order, and representatives from faith-based organizations, civil society organization, people’s organization, barangay anti-drug abuse council, and barangay peace and order council.
To harmonize the concerted efforts of the national government, the DILG is also eyeing to conduct simultaneous symposiums with other anti-illegal drug agencies of the government in the community.
“The fight against corruption, illegal drugs, criminality, violent extremism, and other threats to peace and security is not just a role of the national government. It’s everybody’s concern,” Cuy said.
He acknowledged though that the national government still needs thousands more MASA MASID volunteers to be their partners of change.
“As responsible members of the society, then let’s do our share and help prevent the entry of individuals or groups who wish to spread fear in our communities. I urge you to visit the nearest DILG Field Office or barangay halls and be a MASA MASID volunteer today,” he said.