The Dangerous Drugs Board, in its recent special meeting, approved a Resolution extending the validity of provisional accreditation granted to physicians authorized to conduct Drug Dependency Examination (DDE) for a period of two years.

This is to ensure that there is an adequate number of accredited doctors or physician who can assess Persons Who Use Drugs (PWUDs) for substance use disorder.

Called Drug Dependency Examination or DDE, this assessment serves as the basis for the type of interventions to be given to PWUDs. The interventions could be treatment and rehabilitation in residential centers, outpatient facilities, or community-based rehabilitation programs.

In line with another issuance of the Board in 2019 on the implementing rules and regulations governing the accreditation of drug rehabilitation practitioners, 373 physicians were granted provisional accreditation allowing them to conduct DDE subject to continuing training. However, accreditations of these physicians are set to expire by the last quarter of the current year.

Given the present situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, training programs for the accreditation of physicians have been suspended. The Department of Health (DOH), a member of the Board, requested for a two-year extension of the provisional accreditation granted to the physicians to avoid forfeiture of their existing accreditation and allow them to undergo additional training upon normalization of government operations.

The Board, which is chaired by Secretary Catalino S. Cuy, unanimously voted in favor of the said action and issued Board Regulation No. 4, Series of 2020 extending the validity of provisional accreditation of physicians for a period of two years. The extension, however, will only apply to physicians who have been granted accreditation prior to the approval of the regulation.

As part of the policy, the DDB will also find ways to conduct continuing training and education to physicians. In coordination with DOH, capacity building will be provided through digital sessions, webinars, virtual simulations, and distance learning engagements.

Among other policy-driven actions, pursuing the deliverables of the anti-drug campaign has been part of DDB’s commitment in order to keep the momentum on drug abuse prevention and control.