DILG wants to keep funds for scrapped drop boxes
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is not inclined to drop the budget for its drop boxes.
DILG officer in charge Catalino Cuy pointed out that the installation of the drop boxes for its community-based antidrug program might be scrapped but not the funds which would be set aside for other existing agency projects.
According to Cuy, the DILG is open to suggestions on the Mamamayang Ayaw sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Iligal na Droga (Masa Masid) drop boxes, but “there is no need to scrap the budget allocated” for their setup.
“We can do away with the Masa Masid drop box but not the whole budget earmarked for the mechanism,” he said.
Cuy issued the statement following criticisms on the DILG’s Masa Masid program and its “drop box mechanism” which were deemed “prone to malice and abuse which can possibly lead to unnecessary deaths.”
He said that the Masa Masid was a barangay-based program against crime, corruption and illegal drugs which encouraged volunteerism, while the drop boxes were intended for community feedback enabling people to take an active role in ensuring peace and order.
“The drop box is not meant for ‘Tokhang’ as claimed by different groups. We just want the people to be on board in the government’s efforts for peaceful and progressive communities,” he said.
Cuy said that instead of taking away the budget for the drop boxes, it would be better to allocate the funds for other DILG programs for monitoring peace and order, data-gathering and surveillance.
According to Cuy, realigning the Masa Masid drop boxes budget to enhance peace and order councils and barangay drug anti-abuse committees “will help in the continued efforts for peace and order down to the grassroots level.”
He said that the drop box mechanism might also be adopted in these existing programs.
Peace and order councils are organized in the national, regional, provincial, city and municipal levels to counter threats posed by criminality, insurgency, violent extremism, and other peace and order issues.
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