Speaking before the trainers and participants of the ASEAN Training on Universal Prevention Curriculum (UPC) on Substance Use held last week, DDB Chairman Secretary Catalino S. Cuy highlighted the need to allocate a “substantial” amount of the local government resources for the anti-drug campaign and advocacy.

He mentioned that “a substantial amount should be able to support a drug prevention program.” To maintain consistency on the funds allocated to anti-drug advocacies, the DDB pushes for the amendment of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 to clearly define how much is “substantial.”

“Kasi mangyayari niyan it will depend on the priority of the local executive. Mamaya yung amount, substantial lang sa kanya but it cannot support the whole program,” he said.

The substantial amount to be allotted for anti-drug programs is proposed to have a specific figure similar to the Gender and Development (GAD) Program which receives at least 5% of the total annual budget.

Meanwhile, he also shared with participants of the training a best practice implemented in Davao City Jail which he also visited last week during the celebration of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking or IDADAIT. Davao City Jail provides an NGO-operated educational program for inmates which can possibly serve as a model for rehabilitation or reformation.

“We are encouraging this particular NGO to expand in Metro Manila, in other key cities where there are big detention facilities of Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and Bureau of Corrections. This is one way to show that the government is concerned not only in the law enforcement side, but also in the rehabilitation and reintegration of drug offenders,” he stated.

Article 7 Section 51 of RA 9165 provides guidelines for local government units to appropriate a substantial portion of their respective annual budgets to assist in or enhance the enforcement of this Act giving priority to preventive or educational programs and the rehabilitation or treatment of drug dependents.