Make anti-drug abuse councils functional, DILG tells local chief executives
Tacloban City (February 15) -- In a memorandum circular issued recently, the Department of Interior and Local Government called on the local chief executives to ensure that their respective anti-drug abuse councils (ADACS) are functioning and that the provisions of the anti-dangerous drugs law are being strictly enforced at their respective levels.
In the circular which covers all provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays, except those in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Secretary Puno said that "under Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, local chief executives and members of the sanggunian or local legislative bodies are required to enact ordinances or amend existing ones to complement the provisions of this law.
Secretary Puno noted that local officials may be administratively charged if they fail to act on cases of adverse reports from the PDEA or the PNP, on the illegal sale of narcotics, rampant delivery and use of such illegal drugs and the discovery of marijuana plantations, laboratories of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) and other illegal substances in their respective communities.
Local officials "may be charged administratively for gross negligence or dereliction of duty as may be warranted by evidence," Secretary Puno said in his circular.
"Such inaction, despite knowledge of the PDEA or PNP adverse reports, shall be considered prima facie evidence for the said administrative charges," Secretary Puno added.
Moreover, Secretary Puno warned that "any local official engaged in the sale, delivery, transportation and use of illegal drugs or who may have benefitted therefrom shall be dealt with criminally and administratively pursuant to RA 9165."
Under this law, Secretarty Puno said, appropriating a substantial share of the local annual budget for the anti-illegal drugs campaign is a "mandatory requirement."
"Accordingly, failure to include such appropriations in the Annual Budget of every Local Government Unit shall be a ground to disapprove the said Annual Budget on review," Secretary Puno stated in his circular.
"Further, failure to include such appropriation in the said Annual Budget can subject the local officials concerned to a possible administrative charge of dereliction of duty," Secretary Puno said. (PIA 8) [top]