To stress the harmful effects of illegal drug use especially among the Negrense youth, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. is launching the Batang Iwas Droga program in Negros Occidental.
Batang Iwas Droga or BIDA was launched in 2003 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who recently named herself the country’s drug czar, in coordination with PAGCOR in an aggressive and serious bid to stop the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country, PAGCOR chairman Ephraim Genuino, said.
Genuino, who spoke before the start of the “Wanders Acrobatic and Musical Show” at the Panaad Stadium on Saturday said that BIDA program must be launched here in Negros, too.
Aside from the problem on poverty, the province is also facing a great challenge on how to put a stop to illegal drug use, he said.
Genuino noted that based on a research, there were an estimated 3.4 million drug abuse victims in 1999, about 6 million in 2004 and 10 million by the end of 2009.
On March 21, PAGCOR in coordination with the BIDA Foundation Inc. and other members of civic society held a protest rally in Manila dubbed the “Grand Bida March,” which drew about 600,000 participants and landed in the Guinness Book of World Records, he said.
Genuino hopes to replicate the march in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental.*APN