LEGAZPI CITY – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. on Friday commended the Police Regional Office in Bicol (PRO-5) for its accomplishments in the anti-illegal drugs campaign during the launching of the "Buhay Ingatan, Droga'y Ayawan (BIDA) program in Camp Simeon Ola here.
"Congratulations PRO-5, on your drug-free barangays and two weeks ago, the No.1 drug pushers in Bicol, with 3 kilos, the spouses Tobias were nabbed, congratulations, Philippine National Police here," Abalos said.
Abalos added that the cooperation of all concerned government agencies in partnership with stakeholders and the community is crucial in realizing the goal of a drug-free community.
"We have to be believers in our own community, this is for our family, for our children... to be a leader, you must have the confidence to stand alone, you must have the courage to make impact decisions, you must have the compassion to listen to the needy. Lahat po kayo ay (All of you are) leaders in your own communities. We all have a role to play here. Let's protect our children, let's protect our future," Abalos said.
According to data from PRO-5, 2,170 of the 2,793 drug-affected barangays were already considered “drug cleared” as of Jan. 18, 2023.
Sorsogon province has the highest number of drug-cleared barangays with 97 percent, and Catanduanes with 93 percent.
Among the parameters for declaring drug-cleared status of affected barangays include the non-availability of drug supply, absence of drug transit, laboratory, warehouse, pusher, user, and protector; and the existence of drug awareness and prevention programs and voluntary drug treatment and rehabilitation processing desk.
PRO-5 regional director, Brig. Gen. Rudolph Dimas, expressed strong support for the fight against illegal drugs.
“Kami po ay lubos na nagpapasalamat sa inyong pakikiisa at patuloy na pagsuporta sa ating kampanya laban sa iligal na droga. Ang pagtitipon nating ito ay sumisimbolo di lamang ng ating pagkakaisa at pagtutulungan kundi pati ng ating kagustuhang ganap na malinis ang ating mga pamayanan mula sa impluwensya ng ipinagbabawal na gamot (We are very grateful for your solidarity and continued support in our campaign against illegal drugs. This gathering symbolizes not only our unity and cooperation, but also our desire to completely clean our communities from the influence of illegal drugs),” Dimas said.
"That Bicol cops shall continue the momentum and ensure to bring about the transformation it has long been working for the generations to come, and through the intervention of the BIDA program, it shall carry on the mission to eliminate illegal drugs in the region,” he added.
Dimas also commended the members of the unit for consistently doing their mandated duties with utmost diligence and enthusiasm. He also encouraged them to keep doing what is right and reminded them that more than a job, law enforcement is a noble calling that only a few brave individuals are given a chance to take.
BIDA is an advocacy program of the DILG designed to reduce drug demand by empowering communities, engaging them in anti-illegal drug activities, and raising public awareness of the ill effects of drugs to reduce drug proliferation and drug addiction at the community level.
The activity started with a unity walk, color fun bike, and fun ride which was participated by 1,456 individuals.
Abalos, also led the inauguration of the PHP15-million Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Warehouse at Barangay Salugan, Camalig town in Albay province.
He also met with Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman and the mayors and local officials of the province for dialogues. (PNA)