Cebu boosts barangay-based anti-illegal drugs programs

Published March 17, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

By Minerva Bc Newman

Cebu City – The Cebu City local government unit held a two-day anti-drug summit to strengthen Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADAC) in its 80 barangays which will handle more focused community-based anti-illegal drugs programs.

“If you think you can stop drugs, you will burn out. This is a forever problem, just like peace and order. So, you just take concrete steps in reducing the problem,” said Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmena, in his message to some 68 barangay captains and BADAC officials.

Osmeña added that he would rather teach children about the ill effects of illegal drugs inside the classroom rather than outside the classroom.

“Do not pretend that they will not know it,” the mayor said.

Mayor Osmeña pointed out that drug addiction is usually the result of juvenile curiosity and other social factors that must be promptly and adequately addressed.

“They are in isolation. They have poor connections to the community. No guidance from their parents and friends. To counter this, you must connect with them and it takes time,” he stressed.

Cebu Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (COSAP) Executive Director Garry Lao urged the participants to be more vigilant in their respective barangays and report any unusual activities to their office for assistance.

Lao said the summit aims to strengthen the role of BADACs to eradicate illegal drugs in the barangays.

He added the BADACs must coordinate with the local police and the local government through information education campaign and other worthwhile activities that will help divert the attention of drug dependents to a more productive undertaking.

Representatives from other government agencies, such as the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Philippine National Police shared their views and information on the drug menace and assured the Cebu City local government that they will fully support anit-illegal drugs efforts and initiatives.