Bida laban sa droga

MIKE ABOUT TOWN - Mike Toledo - The Philippine Star
Bida laban sa droga
Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. (center, top) signs a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with representatives from the country’s top companies.

Back in November 2022, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), under the no-nonsense leadership of Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos, Jr., launched in a grand manner its campaign against illegal drugs dubbed, “Buhay Ingatan, Droga’y Ayawan” or BIDA program at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.

The grand launch was attended by thousands of participants from the local government units of the National Capital Region, the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Department of Health, to name a few.

The BIDA Program is a countrywide anti-illegal drugs program that involves local government units, national government agencies, and other key sectors of society. The program will focus on drug supply interdiction through enforcement action, and at the same time, reduce the demand for drugs by actively pushing rehabilitation and reintegration measures for drug dependents.

In his message during the grand launch, Abalos said that the key to successful reduction in the demand for illegal drugs is a team approach centered on the grassroots. It is one that targets both prevention and rehabilitation by promoting anti-drug education at all levels, from national initiatives to barangay activities and school events.

DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. and DILG Assistant Secretary Donnie Puno.

“Say NO to drugs at maging BIDA tayong lahat laban sa illegal na droga,” the Secretary said.

The program was then launched in different parts of the country in the succeeding months.

Just recently, the BIDA program was launched in partnership with the private sector under the “BIDA Workplace” campaign. This acknowledges the vital role the private sector would play in this government program. (I have written extensively about the importance of PPP or public-private partnership).

We met several times with Assistant Secretary Donnie Puno, one of the efficient workhorses of DILG. Clearly, commitment and dedication to public service is in the Puno genes — there have been several in government service, then and now, Donnie being the youngest, but, I digress.

Abalos encouraged private companies to have their own anti-drug policy and conduct random drug testing of their employees to reduce the use of illegal drugs.

“BIDA Program is all about shared responsibility in countering illegal drugs, and BIDA Workplace is our bid to forge dependable partnerships with the private sector,” Abalos said. “You will take care of your own internal mechanism but what is important is that every company would have a drug policy because they (employees) will be afraid to use it.”

Assistant Secretary Puno, Richie Cuna , First Lady Liza Marcos, George Barcelon (back), Ma. Alegria Sibal Limjoco, and Soc Bautista.

Abalos said he was happy with the solidarity of private companies that joined the program and their support of the DILG in subjecting their employees to drug tests.

Private companies signed an agreement with the DILG in ceremonies held at the Eastwood Richmonde Hotel in Quezon City, including companies under the MVP Group of Companies like PLDT-Smart, Maynilad, Meralco, and Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC).

Other companies involved include the Aboitiz Group, Ayala Corp., the SM Group, the Gokongwei Group, Megaworld, Jollibee Food Corp., Max’s Group, Inc., Megawide Corp., Philippine Airlines, McDonald’s, Nestlé, San Miguel Corp., Eton, Lopez Holdings Corp., and RFM Corp.

No less than the First Lady, Louise “Liza” Araneta Marcos, was guest of honor at the private sector launch and agreement signing ceremony. She expressed her full support for the DILG and the private sector in their initiative to ensure safe and drug-free workplaces in the country.

“By inviting and involving the private sector, hopefully, we would be able to enlighten the public about the perils brought about by illegal drugs,” the First Lady said. “President Marcos earlier said that there would be no letup in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.”

“On behalf of my husband, thank you, DILG, thank you, private sector. Thank you for the support you’ve given and continue to give for my husband’s war against drugs. Thank you for your commitment to make our Filipino communities safe and drug-free,” the First Lady added.

You cannot get a better endorsement than that.

Let’s all do our share, para maging BIDA tayong lahat!

vuukle comment


  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with