The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading the bill institutionalizing the creation of Anti-Drug Abuse Councils in all provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays all over the country.
Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, principal author of HB 7812, welcomed the bill’s approval.
Once enacted, Barbers said the concerned local governments shall be mandated to appropriate no less than 2 percent of their budgets to fund the creation and operations of the ADACs and Anti-Drug Abuse Offices (ADAOs).
“The ADAOs shall serve as the ADACs secretariat in charge of unifying and consolidating all local anti-illegal drug programs, projects and activities and institutionalizing all of ADACs’ activities,” he said.
To activate, strengthen and ensure their functionality, the governors, city and town mayors, and barangay captains, all tasked to head the local ADACs, were mandated with clear, specific guidelines and processes, including their duties and responsibilities in the prevention, monitoring and rehabilitation of drug dependency cases in their localities.
Barbers, chair of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, said ADAOs would be created in every city and municipalities, manned with an appointed Executive Director and two support staffs all responsible in the prompt submission of collated local anti-drug programs, projects and activities to the concerned ADAC chairperson and their other partner agencies.
Under the bill, the composition of the Provincial ADACs includes the Governor as Chairperson; PNP provincial director as vice-chair person; and DepEd Provincial Official, DoJ Provincial Prosecutor, Provincial Social Welfare Officer, Provincial Health Officer, Provincial Information Officer, two non-governmental organization representatives, Sanggunian Chairperson of the Committee on Peace and Order or Committee on Women, and Sangguniang Kabataan Provincial Federation President as members.
The City ADACs, on the other hand, will be chaired by the City Mayor, the City Chief of Police as vice-chair, with DepED Division Superintendent, DOJ Prosecutor, City Social Welfare Officer, City Health Officer, City Public Information Officer, two NGO representatives, and the Sangguniang Kabataan City Federation President as members. The Municipal ADACs will have similar composition of their chairman, vice-chairman and as well as members of their team.
In the Barangay ADACs, the Punong Barangay will act as chair, the Kagawad who is chair of the Committee on Peace and Order as vice-chair, and the Kagawad chair of the Committee on Women and Family, Kagawad chair on Committee on Health, Sanggunian Kabataan chairman, Public School Principal or Representative, Tanod Executive Officer, two local NGOs, the municipal chief of police or his/her representative as members.
“This means that there would be officers responsible in the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign from the Barangay, City, Municipal and Provincial levels all working together, sharing information and conducting coordination to combat the drug menace all over the country,” Barbers said.
“They would be working hand-in-hand in crafting a Local Anti-Drug Action Plan with corresponding targets per year, capacity development programs for all stakeholders through prevention education, drug clearing operations, after care and reintegration programs, after care and reintegration programs; and advocacy programs on the effects and legal consequences of illegal drugs, role of family and the youth in the fight against illegal drugs, among others,” he added.