The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday launched the Mamamayang Ayaw Sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Ilegal na Droga or MASA MASID, a community-based program for the prevention of corruption, illegal drugs and criminality in the barangay (villages). The program aims to encourage communities to take a proactive stance in the government’s fight against corruption, illegal drugs and criminality. DILG Secretary Ismael Sueno said the program is expected to bring together members of the community against illegal drugs. “We believe that peace and order is a shared responsibility of all Filipinos. Through the MASA MASID program, citizens and other concerned sectors can help the government in its campaign to rid the country of crime and illegal drugs,” Sueno explained. MASA MASID is envisioned to unite different organizations in creating safer and drug-free communities in the country. Taking off from UBAS, which brought together village officials and religious groups for programs on good governance and community development, MASA MASID stresses the importance of multi-sectoral linkages in communities in combating the spread of illegal drugs, as well as corruption and criminality. 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 existing UBAS (Ugnayang mga Barangay at mga Simbahan) Technical Working Group (TWG) 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, Philippine National Police and City or Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council. The expanded UBAS TWG shall be responsible for promoting MASA MASID as a mechanism to respond to the needs of their respective LGUs, and shall provide technical assistance to MASA MASID Teams in every village. Barangay MASA MASID Teams will be composed of representatives of faith-based organizations, civil society organizations, non-government organizations, people’s organizations and CSO representative from the Barangay Peace and Order Council and Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council. DILG-National Capital Region (Metro Manila) Regional Director Maria Lourdes Agustin pointed out that the role of communities cannot be undermined in the fight against illegal drugs.