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Sec. Felipe L. Rojas, Jr., Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Chairman, has recently met with heads of the Department of National Defense (DND), Integrated Bar of the Philippine (IBP) and the Department of Health (DOH).

Appointed in February, the new DDB chair has been making a round of courtesy calls to heads of concerned agencies and organizations to further strengthen collaboration in the fight against drugs.

Discussions focused on the implementation of the National Anti-Drug Plan of Action or NADPA, which outlines the plans and strategies of the government in addressing the country’s drug problem.

DND Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin, IBP President Atty. Rosario Reyes and DOH Secretary Janette L. Garin assured the DDB chair of their support to the anti-drug fight through the fulfillment of their respective roles and responsibilities in the NADPA.

Based on the NADPA, the DND is tasked to assist in the development of policies that will support law enforcement initiatives. IBP’s responsibility is to support the Board in the formulation and review of regulations and resolutions.

Given the health impact of drug use, the DOH has been tasked with a number of responsibilities. Among these are to oversee tertiary prevention or treatment and rehabilitation programs, supplement demand reduction efforts, enhance access to controlled medications, assist in the collection of drug-related data, conduct studies and monitor effects of dangerous drugs on peoples’ heath.

Sec. Rojas has regarded the support and cooperation of the entire government as a key element in the campaign against drugs. As what he always says, “all of us should unite to free our country from drugs.”

He is set to meet with other officials in the coming weeks and during the meeting of DDB’s member agencies in April 13, the first meeting he will preside as Chairman of the DDB.