Speaking before members of the media during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay Press Conference at Café Adriatico last Wednesday, August 30, Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Chairman Secretary Dionisio Santiago emphasized the need to establish community-based treatment and rehabilitation.

He said that “drug rehabilitation is best when it is community-based.” Treatment and rehabilitation is part of the drug demand reduction strategy of the government alongside policy formulation and preventive education.

In accordance with the Board Regulation issued by DDB in 2016 dubbed as OPLAN SAGIP, Local Government Units (LGU) continue to establish and strengthen their community-based treatment and rehabilitation centers.

Oplan Sagip (Board Regulation no. 4, Series of 2016) provides guidelines and protocols to be followed by law enforcement agencies, anti-drug abuse councils (ADACs) of local government units and cause-oriented non-government organizations in handling drug personalities who voluntarily surrendered themselves to the authorities.  The Regulation also established monitoring mechanisms of anti-drug abuse campaigns in the barangay level.

To strengthen community-based interventions, the DDB has also expanded the scope of its alternative development strategy. Originally designed to provide alternative sources of livelihood for marijuana cultivators, the program now includes surrendered drug personalities undergoing community-based treatment and rehabilitation.