By Chito Chavez
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) asked the country’s 42,044 barangays to stop corruption, illegal drugs and other forms of lawlessness as it reminded them of their role to uplift the rule of law in ensuring that proper governance is made functional and beneficial to the public
Interior and Local Government officer-in-charge (OIC) Eduardo M. Año reminded barangay officials to exercise their sense of patriotism as the authority to govern rightfully is vested in them by virtue of the law, notably the Local Government Code.
Año said that being the largest government group in the country, the Liga ng mga Barangay (LnB), the organization of village chiefs, has a critical role in rallying barangays to be reliable and proactive partners in advancing the government’s priority thrusts on anti-illegal drugs, anti-criminality, and anti-corruption campaigns as well as the campaign for federalism.
Faustino A. Dy, V of Isabela now serves as the new LnB national president, succeeding Edmund R. Abesamis. The new LnB officers are executive vice president Eden C. Pineda, secretary-general Jorge Daniel S. Bocobo, national auditor Jose Lorenzo T. Almeda, vice-president for Luzon James Marty L. Lim, vice president for Visayas Celestino A. Martinez III, and vice president for Mindanao Edgar R. Ibuyan, Sr.
As for regional LnB chapters, the regional presidents are Mario B. Subagan for Ilocos Region, Victor B. Gines, Jr. for Cagayan Valley, Ramilito B. Capistrano for Central Luzon, Wilfredo M. Maliksi for CALABARZON, Abelardo S. Pangilinan for MIMAROPA, Joseph Philip L. Lee for Bicol Region, Dorothy G. Paes for Western Visayas, Romulo G. Cepedoza for Central Visayas, Ricarte A. Estrella for Eastern Visayas, Rogelio M. Isip for Zamboanga Peninsula, Cesarve C. Siacor for Northern Mindanao, Rustan R. Castillones for Davao Region, Dulia D. Sultan for SOCCSKSARGEN, Gemma P. Tabada for CARAGA, Abdulrashid A. Balindong for Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Michael L. Lawana for Cordillera Administrative Region, and Joseph William D. Lee for National Capital Region.
Organized, functional barangay units
Año cited that Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) which plans, strategizes, implements and evaluates programs and projects on drug abuse prevention in the barangay must always be functional.
Before the May 2018 barangay elections, the DILG filed administrative cases before the Office of the Ombudsman against 16 barangays in Metro Manila and Bicol for their failure to organize the BADACs.
The DILG and Dangerous Drugs Board recently released Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2018-01, the Implementing Guidelines on the Functionality and Effectiveness of Local Anti-Drug Abuse Councils.
Both agencies also encouraged the retention or reappointment of Barangay Violence Against Women (VAW) desk persons or officers, who have been trained by the national or local governments, for the continuous effective handling of VAW and children cases.
As for the anti-corruption mechanism, the DILG is closely monitoring the compliance to the Barangay Full Disclosure Policy which requires the posting of barangay budget, statement of income and expenditures and other barangay financial transactions and annual procurement plan in an area inside the barangay hall that can be easily viewed by the public.
DILG spokesman Assistant Secretary Jonathan E. Malaya said the barangays are the most important partners for a grassroots, wide-reaching advocacy for a correct public information on the proposed shift of Philippine governance to federalism.
He added the DILG will be assisting in the special Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections to be held in Marawi City on September 22.