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DILG Dose, YBL ink MOA to implement Bantala sang Dose for BIDA Program

Advocacies against illegal drugs and other best practices on local governance will soon be seen in bus televisions in Region XII as DILG Dose and bus operator Yellow Bus Line (YBL) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) supporting the government’s Buhay Ingatan, Droga’y Ayawan (BIDA) Program, the national government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign, through the former’s advocacy platform, Bantala sang Dose.

DILG XII OIC-Regional Director Atty. Rochelle D. Mahinay-Sero, CESE and YBL Operations Manager Bernardo Bolanio, representing General Manager Virginia Yap-Garcia, signed the MOA in a ceremonial signing held at DILG XII Office, Koronadal City, South Cotabato last May 3, 2024.

A total of 100 YBL buses will air the Department’s Bantala sang Dose targeting an average of 7,996 daily commuters from Koronadal City to the town of Surallah in South Cotabato and cities of Tacurong in Sultan Kudarat and General Santos City, and vice versa.

“Bantala, derived from the Hiligaynon word for announcement or to inform, reflects the essence of our community engagement strategy. The Bantala sang Dose initiative aims to disseminate information and raise awareness about the government’s efforts to combat illegal drug use,” Director Sero said.

“Complementing this, the Bida on Wheels program embodies our advocacy campaign by utilizing the public transportation system to spread awareness and strengthening community involvement in our drug prevention campaigns,” she further explained.

Apart from promoting its BIDA program, the Bantala will also popularize the good and best practices of government, business, and civil society sectors in promoting local governance excellence in the Region, explained the DILG Dose’s Local Governance Regional Resource Center.

Manager Bolanio also reiterated YBL’s commitment and support in the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign during the ceremony.

Other bus and mall operators in the region also witnessed the ceremonial signing and were oriented about the BIDA and Bantala sang Dose programs as the Department intensifies its campaign for anti-illegal drugs and good governance. The attendees included representatives from Mindanao Star Bus Line, Husky Bus Line, Gaisano Mall of Marbel and Mall of Ace Centerpoint.

Director Sero is optimistic that the Department will soon have more partners in the business sector in advocating the BIDA program after its ceremonial signing with YBL.

However, Director Sero clarified that the agreement has long been finalized, and the parties were only awaiting for the Department to secure all needed technological tools to operate the Bantala sang Dose in YBL buses to make it “official”.

The “ceremonial signing is just that – ceremonial. We had actually finalized this agreement some time ago,” she said.

In 2023, both parties signed the MOA with former Regional Director and current DILG Assistant Secretary for Human Resource Josephine Cabrido-Leysa, CESO III and YBL Manager Yap-Garcia as representatives, formally binding them to the said agreement.

On June 25, 2023, DILG Dose first launched Bantala sang Dose at the departure area of the General Santos International Airport in collaboration with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) General Santos, with DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. gracing the activity.