DILG chief wants more cops in drug-affected communities

By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

March 27, 2024, 1:10 pm

<p>DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. <em>(Photo courtesy of DILG)</em></p>

DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. (Photo courtesy of DILG)

MANILA – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said he wants more police officers to be deployed in communities that have a high incidence of drug abuse cases.

This is for police officers to fully understand the situation on the ground and help address the problems of residents, as part of the implementation of Buhay Ingatan, Droga'y Ayawan (BIDA) program, the DILG chief said in a news release Wednesday.

This came after Abalos cited the Revitalized Pulis sa Barangay (RPSB) program of the Philippine National Police (PNP) as one of the effective approaches of the BIDA program in addressing the perennial drug problem in the country.

"In the whole-of-nation, whole-of-government, whole-of community approach of BIDA, pinuputol natin pareho ang bunga at ang ugat mismo sa problema ng iligal na droga (we address both the cause and effect of the problem with illegal drugs)," Abalos said.

During Monday's BIDA stakeholders dialogues at the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) headquarters in Taguig City, Abalos commended the NCRPO for deploying 10 police officers to live among informal settler families in drug-affected Barangay Putatan in Muntinlupa City.

During the immersion of the RPSB team, they helped address some of the common concerns of the residents.

Police officers found out that most of them lacked birth certificates and could hardly read and write.

The cops endeared themselves to residents as they helped address their problems, thus gaining their trust and respect.

Abalos said another BIDA intervention is the provision of temporary employment to former persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) under the cash-for-work program of the Department of Labor and Employment.

During the dialogue, the DILG met with stakeholders to find common strategies for collaboration on various developmental concerns.

These issues include unemployment, education, integration into the community, drug-related crimes, and family and community relations.

Among the sectors represented were national government agencies, local government units, private sector, academe, judiciary and the religious sector.

"The problem with illegal drugs cannot be won by technology, it cannot be won by money but it can be won by hearts," Abalos said. (PNA)