Officials of the country’s 42,046 villages must use assemblies to garner support for the government’s anti-drug campaign, according to Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos 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 BIDA activities (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).