Public Hearing on inclusion of new substances in the list of dangerous drugsPublished on Friday, 26 August 2016
The Dangerous Drugs Board invites representatives of pharmaceutical companies, chemical industries, medical professionals, and interested parties to the Public Hearing on the proposed inclusion of Gamma Butyro-Lactone (GBL) in the list of dangerous drugs.
Inclusion of the following substances recently listed under different schedules of United Nations Conventions: Acetylfentanyl, MT-45, Para-Methoxymethamphetamine (PMMA), A-Pyrrolidinovalerophone (A-PVP), para-Methyl-4methylaminorex (4,4-DMAR), Methoxetamine (MXE), and Phenazepam, will also be discussed.
The Public Hearing will be held on 2 September 2016 (Friday), 1:30 PM, at the Dangerous Drugs Board Conference Room, 3rd Floor, DDB-PDEA Building, NIA Road, Barangay Pinyahan, Diliman, Quezon City.
Should there be concerned and interested parties that would like to submit position papers on the matter, please address it to Undersecretary Rommel L. Garcia, Chairman, Public Hearings Committee and send it (in soft and hard copies) not later than 30 August 2016.
Pursuant to Section 93, Article XI of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, the Board has the power to classify, re-classify, add or delete substances in the list of dangerous drugs.
To ensure that proper regulatory mechanisms are installed for dangerous drugs and substances and legitimate use will not be compromised, public hearings are conducted with stakeholders.
President Duterte appoints new DDB Chair; Outgoing Sec. Rojas ends DDB stint on a high notePublished on Friday, 26 August 2016
President Rodrigo Duterte has named a new head of the Dangerous Drugs Board.
The new chairman of the DDB is its former Assistant Secretary and Deputy Executive Director for Operations, Benjamin P. Reyes.
With his years of experience on the anti-drug advocacy and his background on health, Secretary Reyes will lead the DDB as it continues to develop and implement a balanced and comprehensive strategy against drugs.
Meanwhile, outgoing Secretary Rojas has ended his stint at the DDB in high spirits as he was able to oversee accomplishment of a number of the Board’s target. Among these are the development of guidelines on handling surrendering drug personalities, partnership with the Public Attorney’s Office on processing of petitions for confinement to treatment and rehabilitation, and presentation of proposed amendments to RA 9165 in the Congress.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to serve and work with the people of the DDB,” he said during the general assembly of DDB employees on Friday morning where he also announced the appointment of the new Chairman.
Outgoing Secretary Rojas is set to focus on his family and private business but will continue to support the anti-drug advocacy. “I am looking on helping support treatment and rehabilitation of some drug dependents,” he said.
He also said that he is certain that Sec. Reyes will continue to improve the services of the DDB. “Keep up the good work,” he further told employees.
The DDB Secretariat received the appointment papers of Sec. Reyes as Chairman of the DDB, vice Felipe L. Rojas, Jr., dated 24 August 2016.
Sec. Reyes will take his oath of office next week.
Public Attorneys can now process petitions for voluntary confinement to treatment and rehabilitationPublished on Tuesday, 23 August 2016
Drug dependents who would voluntarily submit themselves to treatment and rehabilitation can now seek the help of lawyers from the Pubic Attorney’s Office (PAO) to act as their counsel and represent them before courts.
This is after the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and PAO on August 22.
As per the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 9165 or RA 9165, a drug dependent or through a parent, spouse or guardian will have to apply to the DDB or its duly recognized representative for treatment and rehabilitation.
Upon application, the petition will be filed in court and based on results of drug dependency examination by an accredited physician, the court will order the confinement of the dependent in a treatment and rehabilitation facility.
With the agreement with PAO, drug dependents now can seek the help of PAO lawyers nationwide. Atty. Persida V. Rueda-Acosta, during the MOA signing, also stressed that this service is free of charge.
DDB Chairman Sec. Felipe L. Rojas Jr., regards this as a very important development especially with the influx of surrendering drug users seeking treatment and rehabilitation. “We are very grateful to PAO for granting our request and for supporting our advocacy to save drug dependents from the clutches of drugs and re-integrate them into the society as productive citizens,” he said.
The MOA between DDB and PAO is effective immediately and covers the national and all regional offices.
DDB intensifies drug prevention and advocacy programsPublished on Monday, 01 August 2016
While law enforcement agencies continue to be relentless in their efforts against drug pushers, traffickers and perpetrators, the Dangerous Drugs Board along with other agencies and organizations have also been non-stop in the conduct of drug prevention and advocacy programs.
The DDB, in support to the President’s all-out campaign against drugs, doubles its efforts in educating the public on the evils of drugs and enlisting their participation in the anti-drug advocacy.
This week, back-to-back programs were held for National Service Training Program (NSTP) Implementers in La Union and members of the academe in Cebu City. Participants undergo training programs on Life Skills Enhancement and Universal Prevention Curriculum on Substance Use, respectively.
Under the administration of President Duterte, the government will continue to strengthen not only the supply reduction drive involving anti-drug enforcement operations but also demand reduction efforts focusing on preventive education, treatment and rehabilitation and research.
Different sectors and organizations will continue to be tapped and capacitated to cascade the anti-drug campaign in the communities. In August, the DDB has lined up several activities such as the Inter-School Stage Play Competition and a Seminar-Workshop on Dangerous Drugs Law for Judges, Prosecutors and Law Enforcers.
Surge of drug users submitting to treatment and rehabilitation, a “happy problem” – DDBPublished on Friday, 01 July 2016
While there is a need to address concerns on the readiness of facilities to provide interventions to surrendering drug users, the Dangerous Drugs Board considers this a ‘happy problem’.
Submission of pushers and users alike to the police is a good incident for the DDB. “They are now the ones coming to us, willing to stop their illegal activities,” explained DDB Chairman, Secretary Felipe L. Rojas, Jr.
For those involved in illegal drug trade, the DDB maintains that they answer to the law. But for users, the DDB believes they must be provided with interventions in the form of treatment and rehabilitation.
“Drug use is a disease. We must give those who have fallen prey to drugs a chance to be treated and reintegrated into the society as productive individuals,” Sec. Rojas said.
Under Section 54 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, drug users can voluntarily submit to treatment and rehabilitation. The DDB, however, clarified that this can only be availed by individuals with no pending cases in court.
The user or parent or any relative within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity may apply a petition for voluntary submission to treatment and rehabilitation with the DDB or any DDB-authorized representatives. A police and court clearance must be submitted along with the application.
The DDB explained that not all drug users will have to undergo residential treatment and rehabilitation.
Upon filing of the petition, the user will be subjected to a Drug Dependency Examination (DDE) by a DOH-accredited physician. This is conducted to determine the appropriate intervention for the patient. If found to be a drug dependent, the patient is recommended for a residential treatment and rehabilitation. For experimenters or occasional drug users, counseling or an out-patient program is proposed.
With the sudden influx of users submitting to treatment, the DDB understands that there are concerns on the availability and readiness of facilities to accommodate these patients. The DDB will convene a special meeting of its Treatment and Rehabilitation Committee chaired by the Department of Health on the first week of July to address these concerns.
Similarly, the establishment of community-based treatment and care facilities will also be discussed. Last September, the DDB and DOH launched the manual on the establishment of community-based treatment and care services, supported by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The DDB calls on the help of local government units to support the establishment and operations of these facilities and non-government and faith-based organizations that can provide out-patient services.
“Participation of all local government units and also the help of organizations with the capacity to provide treatment and care services for people who use drugs is crucial in addressing what we now regard as a happy problem,” Sec. Rojas said.
“Drug users coming to us and voluntarily submitting themselves to treatment and rehabilitation is a welcome change. The government will continue to work hard to provide appropriate services and interventions to these patients,” he added.
At present, there are 45 residential treatment and rehabilitation facilities in the country, 18 of which are government and 27 are privately-owned. There are also one government and two private out-patient centers.