Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. Discusses Buhay Ingatan, Drogra’y Ayawan (BIDA) Program

BEVERLY HILLS, CA, USA, February 8, 2024 / — Secretary of the Interior and Local Government of the Philippines, Benjamin Abalos Jr., arrived in Los Angeles on January 29th ahead of the Manila International Film Festival. Upon arrival, Secretary Abalos Jr. shed light on his initiatives to transform the Philippines into a prosperous nation with community programs and efforts against substance use.

Launched nationwide in 2022, the Buhay Ingatan, Drogra’y Ayawan (BIDA) Program has been combating the use of illegal drugs by educating communities on the ill effects of substance abuse. For the program, Secretary Abalos Jr. utilizes a holistic approach that centers human rights and encourages collaboration between public and private sectors to promote a healthy lifestyle.

The BIDA program combines the efforts of government institutions, religious organizations, schools, as well as families and other communities in order to empower those affected by drug use to start a better life. In addition, BIDA has partnered with various stakeholders including the Premier Volleyball League, Philippine Basketball Association, SM Cinemas, and more in order to raise awareness of the program.

In 2024, the BIDA program is focusing on rehabilitation, reintegration, and aftercare of those affected by illegal drug use. The program aids in job opportunities to not only help people stop using drugs, but also ensure they do not return to a life of crime.

Secretary Abalos Jr., took the opportunity to bring BIDA to the global stage at the Manila International Film Festival, hosted at the Directors Guild of America, to further bring awareness to the cause. This prestigious event showcased the best of Philippine cinema, art, and talent to a large and diverse audience, with attendees including foreign directors.

Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. encourages Filipino communities worldwide to take pride in their culture and partake in initiatives, such as BIDA, to improve the Philippines and create a prosperous nation. He encourages Filipino communities to continue supporting the arts and showcasing the beauty the Philippines has to offer. He remains committed to expanding the BIDA program in order to help even more people and create a positive change in the Philippines.

Tenny Zakarian
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