The Dangerous Drugs Board officials headed by Secretary Catalino S. Cuy met last October 22 with Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, the Archbishop of Manila, along with DILG Undersecretary Ricojudge Janvier Echiverri, Fr. Dan Vicente Cancino, Jr. of CBCP Commission on Health Care, and Fr. Roberto Dela Cruz of Caritas Manila-Sanlakbay to discuss possible areas of cooperation in addressing the drug problem.

The agencies agreed on forging stronger partnerships in the implementation of community-based treatment and rehabilitation programs and in encouraging Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to work with the government in the conduct of information drives in both rural and urban settings.

To operationalize this partnership, a drug summit to be conducted early next year was proposed to train point persons from different dioceses on community-based treatment, rehabilitation and interventions.

As the DDB continues to rally the support and participation of different sectors in the implementation of the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy (PADS), the church is seen as an important ally in institutionalizing systems and programs in the communities.

Cardinal Tagle emphasized that the domestic drug problem is a human concern, and that the partnership should be able to transcend administrations and paradigm shifts.