PNP-DILG “BIDA” rolls out in Northern Mindanao
The Nation’s Peacekeeper remains firm and determined in its campaign against illegal drugs and other related crimes in all parts of the country. This can be seen through the organization’s growing lists of relevant accomplishments and continuous anti-illegal drugs operations conducted nationwide. This intensified campaign is now supported and strengthened with the PNP KASIMBAYANAN Program, espousing multisectoral partnerships among PNP and other government agencies, the community and the religious sector towards the attainment of common objectives—to prevent and control crimes, and to have a peaceful and orderly community.
Anchored on the government’s whole-of-nation approach, the BIDA Program enables DILG to take the lead in responding to the outcry of every family and of every member in our community, who in one way or the other have experienced and were shattered and ruined by the destructions caused by illegal drugs. Its ultimate goal is to address this long overdue issue by focusing on drug demand reduction, and by strengthening community-based rehabilitation programs and initiatives to eventually help drug reformists and surrenderers in changing for a better and healthier life, and be on the mainstream of a vibrant community.
Following the Grand Launching of the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s “Buhay Ay Ingatan, Droga’y Ayawan” (BIDA) Program on November 26, 2022, said initiative was also introduced and launched in all the regions down to the different Provincial and Local Government Units. On February 6, 2023, the Philippine National Police in collaboration with other government agencies in Region X gathered together in El Salvador City, Misamis Oriental for the BIDA Program roll-out and Caravan.
Attorney Benjamin C. Abalos, Jr., the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, together with Police Lieutenant General Rhodel O. Sermonia, then Officer-in-Charge of the Philippine National Police, led in the significant occasion. With them were the Local Government Officials of the province of Misamis Oriental; select personnel of Police Regional Office X led by PBGen Lawrence B. Coop, Regional Director; media personalities; advocacy groups; and other key sectors.
Among the highlights of the roll-out were the solidarity walk, fun run and bike ride, followed by the presentation of BIDA mural paintings prepared by select students from El Salvador City Central School for SILG’s appreciation. Likewise, the graduation ceremony of the Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation Program/Recovery and Wellness Program (CBDRP/RWP) also coincided with the said occasion.
The Camiguin Province was given the Plaque of Recognition for being declared as the first drug-cleared province in the country. Furthermore, the municipalities of Sugbongcogon, Kinoguitan, Naawan, and Libertad of Misamis Oriental; Tagoloan and Kauswagan of Lanao del Norte; and Pangantucan in Bukidnon, were also recognized as drug-cleared municipalities in the entire Region X.
In his speech, PLtGen Rhodel Sermonia, then OIC PNP, thanked all the local officials, sectoral leaders, advocacy support groups, and faith- based organizations of Misamis Oriental for their unwavering support and strong spirit of volunteerism in every PNP program, including its anti-illegal drugs campaign and other programs relative to the maintenance of peace and order.
Atty. Benjamin C. Abalos Jr., however, presented the numerous effects of illegal drugs and emphasized the importance of the government’s intensive campaign against them.
“What I want is for each and every youth here to shepherd your friends and have the confidence to say: ‘No to Drugs’. As the police and NBI are working on the ground, we are also educating our youth and teaching them to say no. Together, we will win the fight against drugs,” SILG Abalos said.
The event was capped off with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding and Pledge of Commitment by SILG in behalf of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, National Government Agencies (NGAs), and KASIMBAYANAN Advocacy Support Groups, showing the unequivocal commitment of various sectors to work together in the fight against illegal drugs.
While in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates for the 24th Asian Regional Conference of the INTERPOL General Secretariat, Police General Rodolfo Azurin Jr., the Chief of the Philippine National Police, commended PNP men and women for all the efforts relative to the successful BIDA roll-out and Serbisyo Caravan program.
“This program demonstrates a strong commitment to reduce the demand for drugs in communities, and to focus on all the aspects of the government’s campaign against illegal drugs,” he said.
“The BIDA roll-out and caravan in Misamis Oriental serve as beacons of hope in the fight against illegal drugs in the region. The program, including the add-ons like the caravan, is a loud call in the right direction and a model for other LGUs to follow. We must continue to work together and be vigilant in our efforts to eradicate illegal drugs and keep our communities safe”, General Azurin added.
The next generations need a clear direction and a strong force to make a difference, to let them feel the future where hope springs forth. To be able to kill a tree, you must cut first the depths of its roots not the branches, for the latter will never end its lifeline, so is the war on illegal drugs.