February 1, 2023
REVAMPED DRUG WAR CAMPAIGN — The Police Regional Office-Cordillera, including other law enforcement agencies expressed full support to the Buhay Ingatan, Droga’y Ayawan program, the new drug war campaign under the Marcos government, which was launched in the Cordillera last week through the Department of the Interior and Local Government. the new campaign focuses on the reduction of the supply and demand and with emphasis on respect to human rights and dignity. — PRO-Cor photo

Stakeholders in the Cordillera have thrown support to the government’s intensified campaign against illegal drugs, focusing this time on reducing supply and demand for illegal drugs and being guided by the “highest moral principles of respect for human life and dignity.”
Regional line agency representatives led by the Department of the Interior and Local Government, more than 800 barangay officials and tanods; and representatives from law enforcement agencies, youth and religious sectors, and civil society committed to work on eradicating the perils of illegal drugs with the regional launching of the Bida program,or Buhay ingatan, droga ayawan, of the Marcos administration.
The program aims to firmly put a stop to the number of individuals and lives destroyed by illegal drugs, with more than 300,000 documented drug-related cases and arrests made so far nationwide, including thousands of young individuals aged four to 17 years old falling victims to illegal drugs.
“Our persisting problem on illegal drugs had taken away so much from our countrymen and it continues to wreck havoc inside our homes. These figures prompt swift action, and we cannot just idly stand by and watch the number balloon any further. Hindi natin hahayaan pa na dumami ang figures (na ito) sa ating bansa,” DILG-Cordillera Director Araceli San Jose said during the launching on Nov. 28.
She said the intensified campaign against illegal drugs is focused on multi-sectoral convergence on catching its sources and rehabilitating users by decreasing the demand and supply of illegal drugs.
She stressed on the role of local government units, the barangays in particular, and all community sectors in realizing the goals of the program.
“The BIDA calls on our networks of developmental and sectoral partners to become our allies in pushing our advocacy in assisting in the implementation of various programs, projects, and activities and in helping in the rehabilitation and reintegration of former drug users back into the mainstream society,” San Jose said.
She said they recognize the partners’ capabilities in helping the government in the next six years because of their connection with the communities and the people, as she expressed confidence that through collaboration, they will be able to reach and serve the constituents better by localizing anti-illegal drugs programs, projects, and activities for it to become more responsive to the present needs, especially of the youth.
More importantly, these partners are needed in helping in the rehabilitation and reintegration of former drug users back into the mainstream society.
“When family pictures become emptier, when hopes and dreams are abandoned, and when promising futures are compromised, our resolve becomes clearer: We need to act with purpose and in great magnitudes. This is exactly why the BIDA program capitalizes on multi-sectoral convergence. We need to forge partnerships between LGUs and the community stakeholders to ensure the effective and efficient implementation of our programs to target the most vulnerable areas in our communities,” she said.
San Jose added in combating illegal drugs, actions must always be guided by the highest moral principles: respect for human life and dignity.
Earlier, DILG Sec. Benhur Abalos Jr. said that in eliminating the persistent problem on illegal drugs, there is a need to go to its roots and eliminate it, which calls for proactive measures starting with the BIDA program.
“We are optimistic that in the coming years, this convergence against illegal drugs will yield results that we want for a healthy and drug-free Cordillera,” she said. – Hanna C. Lacsamana