MANILA -- The local government of Quezon City is planning to conduct drug testing for its barangay officials, to show its support for the national government's anti-drug campaign.
In a statement released Tuesday, Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, chairperson of the Quezon City Anti-Drug Abuse Advisory Council (QC-ADAAC), said she will push for her drug testing proposal after receiving reports that some of the city's barangay officials are hooked on illegal drugs.
She also sees the need to provide an effective mechanism for drug abuse prevention at the grassroots level.
Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac, Jr., director general of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) supports Belmonte's proposal.
"We appreciate the proposal of Vice Mayor Belmonte to cleanse their ranks. This is the very essence of leadership by example, showing their constituents that local executives have the moral ascendancy to lead and become active partners in the national crusade against the drug menace," he said
Cacdac added that the agency noticed that a number of barangay officials are involved in illegal drug activities, or are into substance abuse themselves.
He added that since the barangay is considered as the smallest administrative unit in the country, the battle against drug abuse and trafficking in the community should start here.
In 2013, 138 government officials, including 44 elected politicians, and 60 government employees and barangay functionaries, were arrested for drug-related offenses.