The Bacolod City government has opened the construction of the Balay Silangan to public bidding following the approval of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency of its implementation, Executive Assistant Samuel Montoyo Sr. said yesterday.
Montoyo, Cluster Liaison head of the City Mayor in the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (CADAC), said this is an urgent project of the city and this will be realized this year since they target to declare two or more barangays in Bacolod as drug-free.
He said Bacolod is one of four areas in the Philippines where the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) has committed P10 million for the establishment of the Balay Silangan, because of the active campaign of the city against illegal drugs.
Montoyo said they have recommended five barangays to be declared drug free, but this was not considered because the Inter-Committee on Anti- Illegal Drugs requires that a city should have a Balay Silangan. That is why they are giving this priority.
He said he is assuring the people of Bacolod that, because Mayor Evelio Leonardia is serious in his campaign against illegal drugs, the Balay Silangan and the Drug Rehabilitation Center will be realized before the end of this year, he said.
The DDB has allotted P10 million for the establishment of the Drug Rehabilitation Center while the city has provided a counterpart of P20 million, while the construction of the Balay Silangan costs P5 million because there is already an existing structure owned by the city. This is aside from the manpower requirement that the city will shoulder, he added..
Meanwhile, Montoyo said they are requiring the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) to monitor people in their respective areas. They are also required by the Office of the City Mayor to submit their periodic report to the Secretariat of CADAC chaired by Mayor Evelio Leonardia.
On the other hand, the CADAC is required to create an oversight subcommittee to be composed of representatives from the Office of the Mayor, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Philippine National Police, City Health Office, and the Department of Interior and Local Government, he said.
The subcommittee will evaluate the result of the anti-drug campaign and determine if a certain barangay is qualified to be declared drug-free, he added.
Montoyo said they will also give commendation and cash incentives to the police or enforcement unit for their campaign against illegal drugs.
He is recommending a substantial budget for an anti-drug abuse campaign as the law may allow. Based on RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, a local government is allowed 5 percent of the 20 percent of its Internal Revenue Allotment to be used for the campaign against illegal drugs, he said.
He has submitted to the Mayor these recommendations for his consideration and this will be presented to the CADAC during its first quarter meeting on Monday, Montoyo added.*
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