MANILA – Officials of the country's 42,046 villages must utilize assemblies to garner support for the government’s anti-drug campaign, according to Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. on Sunday.
Abalos was referring to “Buhay Ingatan, Droga Ayawan” (BIDA) program, a nationwide anti-narcotics drive that aims to combat illegal drugs by focusing more on demand reduction and rehabilitation of communities.
He said officials should take advantage of barangay assemblies set this month to comprehensively explain the program to their constituents and make them advocates of BIDA.
“Nananawagan tayo na gamitin nila ang Barangay Assembly Day upang mahikayat ang kanilang constituents na maging BIDA advocates at maki-isa sa ating laban sa iligal na droga (We call on them to use Barangay Assembly Day to encourage their constituents to become BIDA advocates and join our fight against illegal drugs),” Abalos said in a statement.
The assembly, the Interior chief said, would be an opportunity to reach out to the communities and explain to them the cooperation that the government would want to establish with them in the fight against illegal drugs.
“Hiling natin na tulungan tayo ng mga kababayan hanggang sa mga barangay upang mas lumakas pa at maging epektibo ang ating kampanya sa pamamagitan ng aktibong partisipasyon sa mga susunod na (We request our fellow citizens to help us to strengthen and make our campaign more effective through participation in our next) BIDA activities,” he added.
Through Memorandum Circular No. 2023-032, Abalos reminded local government units to hold Barangay Assembly Days every semester as mandated by the Local Government Code.
This semester’s Barangay Assembly Day with the theme “B-BIDA KA! Barangay BIDA Ka sa Pagpapatupad ng Kapayapaan, Pangangalaga ng Kalikasan, at Pagpapaigting ng Pagkakaisa Tungo sa Isang Ligtas, Mapayapa, Maunlad at Masaganang Pamayanan (Implementation of peace, environmental protection, and strengthening unity towards a safe, peaceful, prosperous community), can be held in any Saturday or Sunday of March.
It can be held face-to-face or in blended mode (face-to-face and online).
‘BIDA’ in Cavite
On Saturday, youth delegates joined the BIDA summit at Imus Sports Complex organized by the Cavite provincial government, DILG, Cavite Police Provincial Office, and Cavite Provincial Advisory Group.
At the lecture proper, Pastor Ephraim Segovia, director of the Calabarzon Battle Against Drugs, said the war against narcotics is the longest battle the country has ever fought and is still fighting.
He shared an audio-visual presentation on the gory physical effects of using illegal drugs.
DILG Undersecretary for Barangay Affairs Felicito Valmocina reiterated the contribution of the youth sector in making a difference on the country’s progress.
“I encourage you to participate and take part in the ongoing war against drugs campaign by the government, by simply spreading the pros and cons of using and abusing illegal drugs,” Valmocina said in his speech.
Col. Christopher Olazo, Cavite police director, said awareness kits, flyers and posters are being distributed provincewide while “Ugnayan sa Barangay” (Connection with Villages) dialogues discuss rehabilitation programs. (With a report from Rossel Calderon/PNA)