by Kinessa Denise Chispa
In Barangay Mayondon, sectoral representatives attended an orientation on August 17 about a program called Mamamayang Ayaw sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Iligal na Droga (MASA MASID). They comprise the barangay’s newly organized team tasked to lead the community in its fight against corruption, criminality, and illegal drugs.
The MASA MASID is a multi-sectoral program of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). It aims for community involvement in the government’s current campaign against corruption, criminality, and illegal drugs. Pursuant to DILG Memorandum Circular 2016-116, its four main thrust are:
- information and education campaign in communities for government programs against corruption, illegal drugs and criminality;
- creation of a reporting mechanism on illegal drugs-related activities;
- formulation of community-based rehabilitation programs; and
- reviving the spirit of volunteerism by creating a volunteer-friendly atmosphere for organizations that wish to be partners for change
In Mayondon, the MASA MASID team is composed of the following:
- Barangay Captain Victorio Reyes as team leader;
- Pastor Cerilo Abalos Sr. as assistant team leader;
- Kagawads Emeleano Lontoc and Danilo Apolinario as members;
- Ricardo Marcelo, representing the Samahan ng Malayang Mamamayan ng Los Banos;
- Arsenio Mesa, representing the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council or FARMC;
- Digna Canape, representing the Mothers’ Club;
- Shirly Abeleda, representing the Mayondon Pastoral Council;
- Wivinio Tordilla, representing the Mayondon Citizens Association; and
- Mario Banasihan, representing Mayondon Elementary School Parents-Teachers Association Federation
Part of the orientation was the laying down of the action plans of the barangay’s MASA MASID for the year and a discussion on the roles and responsibilities of the community-based program members, among them the following: conduct of information and educational campaigns; organization of activities on drug prevention and demand reduction; and encouraging of community support on reporting of drug-related incidents and illegal drug activities. Part of Brgy. Mayondon’s action plan is to create a hotline for reports on drug use within the community.
According to Joanna Pauline Dizon, secretary of the Brgy. Mayondon Council, prior to the MASA MASID Program, the barangay already has a team for the war on drugs, but it was not active and organized. Thus, upon the issuance of a memorandum from the DILG, the barangay re-organized the said team on August 1.
“Ang kaibahan no’n dito sa MASA MASID, may participation na lahat. Kasi noon ‘di ba galing lang sa mga pulis ‘yong listahan [at] sa officials; [ngayon,] may participation na ang mga mamamayan ng barangay,” said Sec. Dizon with regard to community actions to fight criminality and substance abuse.
The leadership of Brgy. Mayondon hopes to actively engage its community members toward attaining drug-free status. Records show that more than 100 cases of substance abuse have been reported in the barangay.
In relation to the program, the Los Baños Police, together with the barangay kagawads, gathered individuals who were part of the drug list, which was formulated from confidential sources. Most of the drug users were said to have voluntarily surrendered, while others needed intervention from the LB Police.
According to Barangay Kagawad Michael Concio, the drug surrenderees underwent a series of counseling sessions and seminar and were also made to sign a contract, which contains a pledge to cease drug abuse and a notice allowing constant monitoring by the local police; surrenderees who failed to comply were imprisoned.