The House Committee on Dangerous Drugs has sought the plenary approval of a measure seeking the creation of Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (ADACs) in all provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays throughout the country.
Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, chairperson of the panel, recommended the final passage of House Bill No. 7812, which substituted House Bill Nos. 5405 and 5804, filed by Iloilo City Lone District Rep. Julienne “Jam” Baronda, and Quezon City 6th District Rep. Christopher Belmonte.
Barbers, one of the principal authors of the measure, cited the need to create mechanisms where a health-based approach on drug addiction may be implemented in the grassroots level.
“The objective of the bill is to create the ADACs in all provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays all over the country as the main implementing organs for the prevention, monitoring, and rehabilitation of drug-dependency cases.” he said.
Under House Committee Report No. 549, the Barbers panel strongly urged the 307-man Lower Chamber to approve HB 7812, which seeks to amend Republic Act No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Drugs Act, as amended, and Republic Act No. 7160, or the Local Government Code of 1991.
Barbers said HB 7812 provides for the composition and responsibilities of the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC), City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (CADAC), Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council (MADAC), and the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC).
“It creates the Anti-Drug Abuse Council (ADAO) in every city and municipality which shall be headed by an Executive Director, and assisted by at least two support staff in order to facilitate the discharge of the duties and responsibilities,” he said.
He noted that one of the key provisions of the proposed Act is that it mandates the concerned local government units to appropriate at least two percent of their annual budget to fund the creation and operation of the ADACs and implement the provisions of the proposed law.
“It includes a penal provision in case the responsible Local Chief Executive fails to comply with the provisions of the proposed law, including the creation and operation of the ADACs,” Barbers noted.
Under HB 7812, failure of the responsible local chief executive to comply with the creation of the ADAC and implementation of the provisions of the proposed Act shall be penalized with the imprisonment of six months and one day to six years with the accessory penalty of perpetual absolute disqualification to hold public office.