CITY Vice Mayor and Sangguniang Panlungsod Presiding Officer Edison Bilog has filed a proposed Resolution requesting the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Cordillera Administrative Region (PDEA-CAR), through its Regional Director Edgar Apalla to seriously consider utilizing the social media and the so called Short Message Service (SMS) blasting to step up their campaign against drug abuse, prevention and control programs.

As bared by Vice Mayor Bilog in his proposed measure the necessity of using available technological advancements in communication to further advance the campaign against drug abuse is one of the results of a recently conducted summit by the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Public Protection and Safety, where the participants were students who suggested the use of social media and sms blast as a means to augment efforts on drug abuse prevention aside from the usual lectures and other fora being conducted by the concerned drug agency and other groups.

The Vice Mayor further pointed out in his proposal that lumped together under social media are “forms of electronic communication such as websites for social networking and microblogging which is a means through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages and other content including video”. On the other hand SMS blasting “is a form of mobile network carrier which provides a fast, reliable and affordable means to improve and send out information. It uses advanced software that can send a bulk of text messages immediately. They are also provided powerful and sophisticated analysis systems to generate detailed reports and charts that aid in easy decision making at a very low cost”. “Additionally, social media sites have been proven to provide a platform to enhance screening, prevention and treatment of substance use and addiction by communicating science based related messages”, with the added benefit that social media is usually free of charge while SMS blasts are cheap and their providers can generate detailed reports and charts for analysis of their effectiveness.

It was further revealed by the Vice Mayor that recent studies have shown that social media sites are frequently visited and used by the youth which is the primary target of concerned agencies in the campaign to pursue drug abuse prevention.

It can be recalled that the continuing war on drugs initiated by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte is currently being spearheaded by the PDEA as the lead agency and with the Philippine National Police (PNP) serving in a supporting capacity.

The said proposed Resolution is expected to be tackled during the next regular session of the City Council and right after its approval of the Annual Budget of the City for calendar year 2018.