The Department of the Interior and Local Government in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DILG-ARMM) launched last week its community-based MASA MASID program on to empower communities and fortify people’s participation in the war against illegal drugs, corruption, and criminality.
MASA MASID, or ‘Mamamayang Ayaw Sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Iligal na Droga’ is an initiative aimed at encouraging the communities in the region to take action against all forms of irregularities and illegal activities, especially drug abuse.
The program is a collaborative work involving the Philippine National Police (PNP), provincial and local government officials, village chiefs, religious sectors, civil society groups, and other nongovernmental organizations.
Under DILG Memorandum Circular 2016-116, the program has four main priorities: information and education campaign in communities for government programs against corruption, illegal drugs and criminality; creation of a reporting mechanism on illegal drug-related activities; formulation of community-based rehabilitation programs; and revival of the spirit of volunteerism by creating a volunteer-friendly atmosphere for organizations that wish to be partners for change.
The circular also explains that the existing UBAS’s (Ugnayan ng Barangay at Simbahan) Technical Working Group in local government units (LGUs) shall be expanded and shall be headed by a City or Municipal Local Government Operations Officer, with representatives from a faith-based group, Liga ng Mga Barangay, the PNP, and City or Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council.
The expanded UBAS Technical Working Group shall be responsible in promoting MASA MASID as a mechanism to respond to the needs of their respective LGUs and shall provide technical assistance to the program’s teams in every village.
Barangay MASA MASID teams will be composed of representatives of faith-based organizations, civil society organizations (CSOs), nongovernmental organizations, people’s organizations and CSO representative from the Barangay Peace and Order Council and Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council.
Regional data showed that in 2016, there were 15 LGUs with 236 barangays and 7,962 surrenderers targeted for intervention. For this year, another 31 LGUs with 529 barangays and 7,780 surenderers are projected to be covered by the DILG’s initiative.
After the launching of the program, the attendees signed a pledge of commitment for the implementation of the MASA MASID program in their respective areas. (BPI/PIA Lanao del Sur)