Press Release
May 26, 2021

Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (SBN 2215)

Today I sponsor Senate Bill No. 2215 under Committee Report No. 259, An Act Institutionalizing Anti-Drug Abuse Councils in Every Local Government Unit, And for Other Purposes.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, we are experiencing a global drug problem with at least 35 million people around the world who suffer from drug addiction.1

In the Philippines, with the proactive campaign of the Duterte administration against illegal drugs, the country's drug problem has significantly improved.2 According to the data of the Dangerous Drugs Board, as of September 2020, only 40% of the 42,045 barangays nationwide are yet to be cleared by the PDEA and PNP,3 while over 1.4 million drug personalities have voluntarily surrendered to the proper authorities.4 These are the Filipinos who share our vision for them - a vision of a better and more productive life.

As the number of surrenderers continues to grow, this may also mean that we are on the right track in terms of handling our country's drug problem. But what exactly does it mean to be on the right track?

In 2018, Assistant Secretary Walter Besas of the Dangerous Drugs Board said: "the most effective interventions are the ones that emanate from the community, carried out by the community - for the community."5

Mr. President, the drug situation is not only a problem of the National Government but likewise requires the collective effort of every territorial and political subdivision of the Republic. The recognition of this important role of our LGUs essentially gave rise to the creation of the Anti-Drug Abuse Council back in 1998, when the DILG mandated all levels of the local government to create their respective Anti-Drug Abuse Councils.6 This, aside from the fact that our very own hardworking Senate President Vicente Sotto III likewise founded the Quezon City Anti-Drug Abuse Advisory Council back when he was still the Vice-Mayor of Quezon City in his pursuit of a drug-free country.

Through the efforts of the existing ADACs, our LGUs, working hand-in-hand with the National Government, became more capable of properly crafting and implementing effective and efficient drug-related programs and activities, suited to the specific drug situation in every barangay, municipality, city and province, and, most importantly, contributed significantly in the implementation of the Community Based Drug Rehabilitation Programs. Ika nga, ang bawat Pilipinong nalululong sa pinagbabawal na gamot ay Pilipino pa rin - nararapat na kalingain at pagalingin, sa pangangalaga ng ating gobyerno partikular na ang lokal na pamahalaan. By adequately capacitating our LGUs in terms of rehabilitation, treatment then becomes more accessible for Persons Who Use Drugs or PWUDs.

In fact, on December 28, 2018, the DILG conducted the first-ever National Anti-Drug Abuse Council Performance Awards7 to 241 Outstanding Local Government Units, 21 of which were able to garner a perfect score of 100 based on the DILG's functionality indicators, namely: the Province of Davao Oriental; Quezon City; City of San Juan; City of Valenzuela; City of Alaminos, Pangasinan; City of Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat; Balaoan, Agoo, and San Gabriel (all in La Union); Bayambang, Pampanga, Orani, Bagac and Pilar (all in Bataan); Carmona, Cavite; Torrijos, Marinduque, Nunuangan, Lanao del Norte; Pantukan, Compostela Valley; Surallah, South Cotabato; Columbio and Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat.

Further, in 2020, according to the DILG, with their respective functional Anti-Drug Abuse Councils, 273 cities and municipalities were able to sustain the drug-cleared status of their affected barangays, while 234 cities and municipalities sustained the drug-free status of their unaffected barangays.8

Nevertheless, despite these commendable efforts on the part of our LGUs, we know for a fact that whatever progress we may be enjoying today will only be as good as the next directive, or the next order. That which we call progress, attained through these created Councils, will survive only when there are people who believe in its cause, unless, of course, it becomes a law.

Samakatuwid, sa pagsasabatas ng panukalang ito, ating binibigyang-diin ang napakahalagang papel na ginagampanan ng bawat komunidad, katuwang ang kani-kanilang barangay, munisipalidad, lungsod, at probinsya, sa ika-nga'y giyera laban sa droga.

Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to former US President Barack Obama, stated, and I quote: "When you are in local government, you are on the ground, and you are looking into the eyes and hearts of the people you are there to serve. It teaches you to be expansive in the people with whom you talk to...That engagement gives you political judgment."9

Political judgment. Judgment that does not come from ideas floating in space. Judgment that springs, instead, from experience straight from the ground, from looking right into the eyes and hearts of our fellow Filipinos.

To address the country's problem on drugs entails tapping into the wisdom and experience of those on the ground, those who can competently provide political judgment: our Local Government Units. At the same time, it demands a systematic and institutional response.

The long and short of it, Mr. President, is that solving our drug problem requires political judgment. And it is political judgment that directs us to the swift passage of this bill, institutionalizing our Anti-Drug Abuse Councils.

Thank you, Mr. President.


1 COVID-19's far reaching impact on global drug abuse | | UN News, June 25, 2020. Retrieved from:, retrieved on March 3, 2021.

2 Gita-Carlos Ruth Abbey, "Duterte's relentless war on drugs, corruption, crime," December 26, 2019. Retrieved from:, retrieved on March 9, 2021.

3 As stated by Hon. Benjamin P. Reyes in the February 16, 2021 hearing of the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs. Taken from the TSN of the hearing, p.68.

4 As cited by the Dangerous Drugs Board Annual Report 2019, p.37.

5 "DDB and DILG partner to strengthen anti-drug abuse councils," July 3, 2018. Retrieved from:, retrieved on March 7, 2021.

6 2018 ADAC-PMO Major Accomplishments, as prepared and submitted by the Department of Interior and Local Government, p.1.

7 2018 ADAC-PMO Major Accomplishments, as prepared and submitted by the Department of Interior and Local Government, p.16.

8 DILG-Philippine Anti-illegal Drugs Strategy 2020 Report, pp.18-19.

9 Valerie Jarrett - When you are in local government, you... (, retrieved from:, retrieved on: March 9, 2021.

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