THE Department of the Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) Buhay Ingatan, Droga’y Ayawan (BIDA) Program wins the international Government Media Awards for the National Social Welfare Initiative of the Year category in Singapore.
The Gov Media Awards recognizes the most outstanding government projects and initiatives in Asia and is open to both government departments and organizations and companies supplying services or solutions to government projects.
Winning the prestigious award for the Philippines, the BIDA program, established through DILG Memorandum Circular 2023-025, is a holistic approach to counter the proliferation of illegal and dangerous drugs and aims to reduce drug demand and supply by empowering communities.
It is part of the prevention and promotion activities anchored on the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy (PADS).
DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos, who received the award for the Philippines, said that the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign has taken a new shift through the BIDA program as it is focused more on drug demand and supply reduction with the help of BIDA advocates and the different sectors of society.
Launched across the country last November 2022 through various health and wellness events, BIDA gathered nearly a million participants supporting the program in various activities nationwide such as fun runs, service caravans, seminars, sportsfest, tree planting, clean-up drive and barangay programs.
An estimated 31,000 stakeholders from various national government agencies, local government units, the private sector, faith-based sector, and civil society organizations have expressed support for the program.
To date, almost all regions (13 out of 16) have successfully conducted their BIDA program and more will be holding their BIDA activities throughout the year.
Thirty-three private organizations also signed a Memorandum of Undertaking (MOU) and pledged their support to the BIDA program through various modalities as the DILG launched the BIDA Workplace advocating for the implementation of the drug-free workplace in the private sector.
The campaign and advocacy efforts also complement the successfully conducted 14 drug-related operations of the Philippine National Police from January to April 2023 alone resulting in the bust of 19 drug personalities and the confiscation of P10 billion-worth of illegal drugs.