The Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office in cooperation with the Negros Island Region Department of Interior and Local Government, and DILG Provincial Director Dennis Quinones welcomed participants to the anti-drugs summit, that included barangay and local officials, at the Negros Oriental Convention Center in Dumaguete City recently.
Police Senior Superintendent and Provincial Director Harris Fama likewise welcomed the participants on behalf of Police Regional Office 18 Director PC Superintendent Conrado Capa. Fama shared his insights on illegal drugs and the duties and responsibilities of the officials assigned in the eradication of such substances in the community and in the country. The summit also included the declaration on the wall of commitment where all local officials and barangay captains affixed their signature.
Anson Baroro, DILG Planning Officer, gave a lecture on the roles and Drug Enforcement Agency, and the National Bureau of Investigation.
He gave a brief, but clear overview of the composition of anti-drug abuse councils in all cities, municipalities, and barangays that are directed to ensure the strict implementation pursuant to Memorandum Circulars 98-227 and 99-236 as organized with the city mayor as chairperson, city PNP director as vice- chairman, and the following as members: the Schools Division Superintendent of the Department of Education, Department of Justice city prosecutor, city Department of Social Welfare and Development, city health officer, city information officer, non-government organization representative, and the religious sector.
For the municipalities, the composition of ADACs includes the municipal mayor as chairperson, the PNP Chief of Police as vice-chairperson, Department of Education district supervisor, Department of Justice municipal judge, municipal health officer, municipal DSWD officer, municipal public information officer, and representatives of non-government and religious sectors.
Baroro explained the components of the unified actions against illegal drugs and other substances under DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2009-09, the purpose of which is to emphasize to local authorities their principal responsibilities in support of the overall effort of government to address illegal drugs and other substances.
It is the responsibility of the local government officials at all levels to follow as required under R. A. 9165 where local officials and members of the Sanggunian must ensure the mandatory inclusion in the local annual budget of a substantial appropriation that can adequately assist or enhance its enforcement, ensure that the provisions of Sections 51-53 of the same shall be strictly and faithfully enforced, initiate the formulation of prevention and rehabilitation programs in their respective local government units, initiate the conduct of symposia and dialogues with school authorities and students, owners and employees of business establishments, government officials and employees and the general public, and to ensure that the anti-drug abuse councils at all levels perform their functions and responsibilities as embodied in relevant Department issuances.
After the responsibilities of local officials were discussed, Baroro elucidated on the equally important functions and responsibilities of the barangay captains.
The summit also expounded on the delineation of roles and responsibilities for the pre-operations, during the operations, and the post-operations of anti-illegal drug activities. It was made clear to the participants on the composition of the barangay anti-illegal drug councils, including its committees. Sanctions were also discussed for any local official who will engage, in any way, in the distribution of illegal drugs or their failure to enforce their responsibility as an official.
Moreover, David Mark Maramba, operations chief of the PDEA-NIR, gave a lecture on RA 9165 after Baroro's lecture. PSSupt. Fama followed suit by giving a briefing of Oplan Double Barrel, where police personnel are tasked to go on a house-to-house campaign to convince reported drug personalities to come out in the open and voluntarily surrender.
The summit concluded with Maria Contessa Lastimoso, Special Investigator III of the National Bureau of Investigation, who closed the event with an appropriate quote from Swami Sivananda, a Hindu spiritual teacher, who said: “Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” *Maria Cecilia Genove
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