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.
DDB spearheads national global day against drugs celebrationPublished on Monday, 27 June 2016
The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), the government’s lead agency on drug prevention and control, spearheads this year’s national celebration of the globally-held International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (IDADAIT) on June 26.
The local government of Naga City and the NGO, Center for Christian Recovery, co-hosted this year’s celebration highlighted by the 1st Recovery Summit and ‘Fambam’ Activity in Naga City participated by treatment and rehabilitation patients and recovering drug dependents from the Bicol Region.
Anchored on the UN-prescribed theme, “Listen First: Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe,” the DDB promotes the development of a strong bond in the family built through parents listening to the children and showing them care.
“This strong bond will protect our children from risky and harmful behaviors including drug use,” DDB Chairman Sec. Felipe L. Rojas, Jr., said.
Sec. Rojas also stressed the importance of a balanced and comprehensive approach to the drug problem. This means employing both supply and demand reduction programs. “Drug supply is the offense we have against drugs, and drug demand stands as our defense,” he said.
Through the IDADAIT celebration, the DDB hopes to encourage more individuals to become anti-drug advocates.
Every 26th of June, IDADAIT is being observed simultaneously in all member countries of the United Nations as per resolution signed during the UN General Assembly on December 07, 1987 and by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 264 dated June 1, 1988.
INTERPOL and UNODC forge closer ties in combating transnational crimePublished on Monday, 13 June 2016
VIENNA, Austria – An agreement between INTERPOL and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) will further enhance cooperation between the two organizations in their joint efforts to combat transnational crime and terrorism.
Signed by INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock and UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov the agreement will see the implementation of a Joint Action Plan across six common areas; terrorism, illicit trafficking and organized crime, cybercrime, maritime and border security, forensic and criminal justice capacity, and institutional capacity.
The announcement, made during the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), will also see the two organizations develop joint initiatives and closer cooperation in the promotion and use of INTERPOL’s policing capabilities alongside UNODC technical assistance initiatives.
“INTERPOL and the UNODC have been working closely together for many years, and this agreement will provide a more strategic, forward-looking orientation for our partnership,” said Secretary General Stock.
“The increasingly complex nature of terrorism and organized crime requires a coherent and effective global response to better protect citizens and infrastructures around the world.
“This agreement will assist in avoiding the risk of overlooking any gaps or overlap in areas covered by our work to better support national crime prevention efforts,” concluded the INTERPOL Chief.
“The need for global partnerships to address shared challenges, from advancing sustainable development to countering the threats posed by transnational organized crime and terrorism, has never been more clear,” said UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov.
Recent examples of successful cooperation between INTERPOL and UNODC include the European Union-funded Operation Folosa in September 2015. Targeting drug trafficking from Latin America to Europe via Africa the operation resulted in the seizure of nearly 170 kilogrammes of drugs worth an estimated EUR 10 million, as well as gold coins and stolen credit cards.
In April, on behalf of the UNODC, INTERPOL’s Counterfeit and Security Documents Branch delivered a security document examination workshop in Ghana for the African region to help prevent and combat the smuggling of migrants.
Within the Network of the Law Enforcement Training Institutions (LE TrainNet) initiative, in June 2016 the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore will host a joint UNODC and INTERPOL meeting to address a range of topics including cybercrime and money laundering.
The agreement between the UNODC and INTERPOL – which will be submitted to the INTERPOL General Assembly in November for approval ̶ will also provide a framework for cooperation in the delivery of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, in particular the implementation of Goal 16 and its associated targets of promoting peaceful, fair and inclusive societies.