The government on Friday formally launched a campaign using a “whole-of-nation” approach against the drug menace.
The campaign involved local government units, national government agencies, and other key sectors of society that will focus more on drug demand reduction and rehabilitation.
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos, Jr. said the program dubbed as “Buhay Ingatan, Droga’y Ayawan” or BIDA is in line with the present administration’s commitment to continue the campaign against illegal drugs “within the framework of the law and with respect for human rights and with focus on rehabilitation and socio-economic development.”
He said the BIDA advocacy program banks on the best practices of the past DILG programs against illegal drugs and now focuses on combatting the problem via demand reduction.
An offshoot of the previous BIDA ang may Disiplina Program, the campaign calls for the support of local government units, partner government agencies, local stakeholders, and organizations to effectively advocate drug demand reduction to all sectors of the community.
“We urge the different government agencies, the church, the school, private organizations, let us help one another on this war against drugs,” Abalos said.
“By raising awareness and encouraging participation from all sectors of the community in drug demand reduction, we can address the perennial problem of illegal drugs which threatens peace and order and cause crimes in communities,” he added.
Abalos said BIDA specifically aims to strengthen institutions in the implementation of drug reduction activities, encourage multi-sectoral participation, secure commitments from national government agencies and partner organizations, and raise awareness through information, education, and communication materials.
During the launching held in Manila, a memorandum of undertaking on the BIDA program was signed by partner national agencies and key stakeholders. The event was a hybrid of face-to-face and teleconferencing.
Present during the event are DILG officials, local chief executives from the National Capital Region, key stakeholders from the sectors of health, justice, national defense, finance, labor and employment, social welfare and development, foreign affairs, and education.
Likewise, the heads of the Commission on Higher Education, Dangerous Drugs Board, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the National Commission on Indigenous People, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority also graced the event.
From the religious sector, in attendance were heads of different churches and faith-based groups. The heads of the League of Provinces of the Philippines, the League of Cities of the Philippines, the League of Municipalities, the Liga ng Mga Barangay and the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines also attended the program.