The Dangerous Drugs Board expressed its gratitude to the House of Representatives for the additional P240 million budget for the establishment of community based treatment and rehabilitation facilities all over the country. This was included in House Bill 4228 or General Appropriations Act of 2020.

The DDB leadership is grateful for the trust and confidence of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, Deputy Speaker Lray Villafuerte and the other Members of the House of Representatives. Their commitment to help pursue DDB’s mandate by putting premium to the strengthening of treatment and rehabilitation demonstrates the government’s holistic and comprehensive approach to address the drug problem in the country.

Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 mandates the establishment of at least one rehabilitation facility in every province. However, as of December 2018, there are only 24 accredited government treatment and rehabilitation centers all over the country. It is for this reason that DDB intends to add more community based rehabilitation facilities which will be operated at the level of the local government units.

In a statement, Secretary Catalino S. Cuy said that it will boost the government’s “whole of nation” approach against illegal drugs. He elaborated that this development is aligned with the demand reduction priorities of the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy.

PADS is a comprehensive priority program of the Duterte Administration that sets the framework on how government and all other sectors must work together on drug abuse prevention and control. Its implementation was institutionalized through Executive Order No. 66 which was signed in 2018.

Based on internationally accepted treatment standards and protocols, not all Persons Who Use Drugs would require confinement or admission in an in-patient residential facility. Those with mild or moderate substance use disorders can be provided with interventions in the community through outpatient services.

Based on the records of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) as of August 2019, out of the 1,634 cities and municipalities in the country, 997 already have an existing community-based rehabilitation program. A total of 179,152 PWUDs have benefitted from these facilities.

To augment these numbers, Secretary Cuy explained that aside from funding assistance, it is also important to obtain the support of Local Government Units. “Since community-based rehabilitation program is LGU-based, we expect the local governments to operate these facilities and monitor the progress of recovery of those included in the program. Given these responsibilities, DDB and DOH will also provide financial augmentation and technical assistance,” he explained.