While the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) recognizes the efforts of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the campaign against drugs, the agency would like to caution it from implementing its own treatment and rehabilitation program.
On Thursday, the PNP shared with the media its plan to launch a “progressive community-based recovery and wellness program” in partnership with a non-government organization for drug users who voluntarily surrendered to authorities.
The DDB appreciates PNP’s eagerness to help in treatment and rehabilitation but is concerned that they might be spreading their resources thinly by initiating its own program.
During the August and September meeting of the Board, of which PNP is a member, DDB Chairman Secretary Dionisio R. Santiago encouraged the PNP to focus on law enforcement and let treatment and rehabilitation be handled by agencies mandated to do so.
RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 mandates the Department of Health (DOH) to be in charge of drug treatment and rehabilitation while DDB Regulation No. 4, Series of 2016 mandates Local Government Units to establish community-based treatment and rehabilitation.
Secretary Paulyn Ubial of the DOH recently issued Administrative Order No 2017-0018 which provides for the “Guidelines for Community-Based Treatment and Support Services for Persons Who Use Drugs in Primary Health Care Settings” to ensure that interventions provided to surrenderers adhere to the principles and standards of drug treatment and rehabilitation. The same issuance was adopted by the DDB in it’s meeting last September 27, 2017.
“Each agency must contribute to the drug campaign according to it’s respective expertise and competencies. Otherwise, the anti-drug campaign may be imperiled and the effectiveness and quality of the (rehabilitation) programs may be adversely affected.”, said Secretary Dionisio R. Santiago, who is currently in the United States attending the UN General Assembly with Secretary Peter Cayetano of the Department of Foreign Affairs.