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Monday, April 22, 2024

Meralco, other MVP-led firms join govt’s campaign against illegal drugs

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Manila Electric Company (Meralco) has joined the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in its nationwide campaign against illegal drugs.

Meralco on Tuesday entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formalize its participation in the government’s “Buhay Ingatan, Droga’y Ayawan” (BIDA) program, which advocates for the reduction of illicit drug supply and demand.

Under the MOU, Meralco pledged to continuously implement a drug-free workplace, conduct regular and random drug testing among its employees, and hold orientations and seminars for employees about narcotics and its physical, social, and psychological effects. Meralco will also help promote the BIDA campaign to raise awareness on the harmful effects of illegal drugs.

BIDA is the six-year anti-illegal drugs advocacy program of the DILG that aims to employ a whole-of-government and whole-of-nation approach in combating the proliferation of narcotics in the country.

In his speech, DILG Secretary Atty. Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. said the participation of private companies in the BIDA program is crucial to ensuring the national success of the holistic campaign against illegal drugs.

For his part, Meralco Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications Joe R. Zaldarriaga said, “We, at Meralco, consider our stakeholders as invaluable partners and we are committed to continuously provide a safe and healthy work environment for our employees. That is why we have policies and programs in place that  ensure a drug-free workplace.”

“Through our strong partnership with DILG and our participation in the BIDA program, we also reaffirm our commitment to support the government’s push to promote human and social development and to continuously educate Filipinos on the effects of illegal drugs,” he added.

Besides Meralco, other companies chaired by Manuel V. Pangilinan also joined the BIDA campaign. These include PLDT-Smart, Maynilad, and Metro Pacific Tollways.

“We look forward to continuing this worthy endeavor with the DILG to once and for all address the scourge that is drug abuse, and we commit all our available resources in support of the BIDA campaign,” Zaldarriaga assured.

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