The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) supports calls for voluntary drug test among barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) candidates if only to affirm their non-involvement in illegal drugs.
DILG OIC-Secretary Eduardo M. Ano says he supports the challenge of Congressman Robert Ace S. Barbers, the Chairperson of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, for barangay and SK candidates to sign a covenant declaring willingness to submit themselves to a drug test.
The same call was made by PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde to all candidates in the forthcoming elections.
“Suportado ng DILG ang panawagan ni Congressman Barbers at mga kasama niya sa komite na lumagda ang barangay at SK candidates sa isang covenant bilang publikong kasulatan at patunay na ‘di sila sangkot sa iligal na droga,” says Ano.
In a joint press conference of the DILG and PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) last week, Barbers said that the proposed covenant should also include the following details: a pledge to not receive monetary, material, or any favor from a drug lord for their election campaign activities; and once elected, winning officials will advocate for drug-clearing of their community and post the signed covenant in the barangay hall.
The solon also said that the drug test must be done with a Department of Health-accredited facility and results will be submitted to the Commission on Elections for documentation and publication.
The DILG Chief said that those who voluntarily undergo a drug test and show the results to the public can prove to the voters that they have nothing to hide.
With the campaign period ongoing, Ano prods voters to get to know more about the background and platform of their candidates.
“Simula na po ng kampanya ng barangay at SK candidates. Simula na rin ng masusing pagkilatis ng mga botante sa susunod na mamamahala sa inyong komunidad na dapat ay matino, mahusay, at maaasahan sa paglinis ng inyong lugar sa iligal na droga, kriminalidad at korapsyon,” he says.
He again asked all voters to review the qualifications of their candidates if they meet the qualifications of Matino, Mahusay, at Maasahan, the brand of service the DILG is known for.
“Partikular po ang iligal na droga na ugat ng pagkasira ng buhay ng ordinaryong mamamayan at pagkasira ng moralidad ng mga opisyal na nagiging protektor ng mga drug syndicates,” he adds.
The DILG Chief says that the organization of Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) and its functionality would be a concrete action of the next set of barangay leaders in cleansing their community from illegal drug menace. An SK Chairperson is among the members of a BADAC.