As the drug problem recognizes no borders, the agency maintains cooperation with regional and international agencies by adhering to treaties, formulating agreements, conducting tie-up projects, attending foreign conferences, exchanging drug reports, hosting study tours and field visits, and contributing to drug-related international efforts.
Workshop Meeting on the Revision of the Life Skills Manual
Sponsored by the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) US State Department Office and Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Programme (CPDAP), this activity was conducted due to the need to revise the existing Life Skills Manual to keep abreast to the fast changing psycho-social need of young people. The workshop aimed to evaluate and revise the manual used by trainers of Life Skills Enhancement Programs. This was held in Jakarta, Indonesia on 11-16 March 2012 and was attended by fourteen delegates from seven member countries of the CPDAP.
33rd ASEAN Senior Officials on Drug Matters Meeting
This annually held meeting brings together senior officials of anti-drug agencies and organizations of ASEAN member countries to discuss on the issues of illicit drugs and exchange information and best practices with the end goal of fostering and engaging cooperation in different anti-drug abuse areas like law enforcement, preventive education, treatment and rehabilitation, alternative development and also research.
Highlight of this year’s meeting conducted in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 25-27 September 2012 is the Mid-Term Review on the Achievement of ASEAN Vision: Drug Free ASEAN by 2015. Assistant Secretary Benjamin P. Reyes led the Philippine Delegation along with Ms. Teresita C. Pineda, Chief, DDB Preventive Education Training and Information Division and Ms. Virginia P. Balmes, Chief, DDB Policy Studies, Research and Statistics Division.
9th Asian Youth Congress on Drug Abuse Prevention Education
The Asian Youth Congress is a program organized by the Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Programme (CPDAP) to mobilize Asian youth as stakeholders in drug prevention efforts with the ultimate goal of building and maintaining a network through which effective resilience against drug abuse and lessons learnt are shared.
Now on its 9th year, the Congress was themed “Stay Smart” for a drug-free Asia. It was held in Osaka, Japan from 8-12 July 2012 in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Drug Abuse Prevention Center of Japan.
Around 100 youth from 26 Asian countries attended the congress along with 4 young individuals from the Philippines. Two members of the Philippine Delegation are from the Dangerous Drugs Board, Ms. Ella Marie L. Dimaculangan, Public Relations Officer and Ms. Frances Ann Teves, Program Officer. The other two representatives are officers of the National Youth Coordinating Council on Drug Abuse Prevention Education, Mr. Kiko Y. Aman, Jr. and Ms. Christine A. Bardoquillo.
Among the highlights of the Congress is the Asian Youth Drug Prevention Award which was given to the Philippine delegation. A practice that started in 2011, Asian Youth Congress organizers honors active participants of the congress. For this year, the award was given to the delegation that was able to come up with the best project proposal. Every delegation was required to prepare a project proposal for a drug prevention program that can be adopted and implemented within their cultural environment.
The Philippine delegation submitted a proposal entitled “The Project Ring: A call to promote healthy and drug-free lifestyle among Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) workers in the Philippines.”
The project is designed as an information drive and capacity-building program that will raise industry worker’s awareness on the drug menace and enhance their capacities to protect themselves from its destructive clout.
Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters
ASEAN leaders met in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for the 20th ASEAN Summit on April 2-4, 2012 and adopted the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on DRUG-FREE 2015 ASEAN Vision.
The main objective of the meeting is to come up with the translation of the elements contained in the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration reaffirming the commitment of ASEAN member states and concerned ASEAN committees to intensify efforts to speed up the implementation of the ASEAN work plan on combating illicit drug production and trafficking and use.
Undersecretary Rommel L. Garcia, DDB Vice Chairman and Permanent Board Member represented the Philippines. Other delegates were ASEAN ministers, leaders and focal persons on drug matters and Mr. Nyan Lynn, Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN Political-Security Community Department of the ASEAN Secretariat.
The delegates shared their views and recommended actions to intensify concerted efforts to realize the vision and goal of Drug-Free ASEAN by 2015. The following were considered and adopted by the ASEAN leaders for implementation by ASEAN national focal points on drug control, ASEAN member-states, ASEAN committees under the ASEAN Political and Security Council and ASEAN Socio Cultural Council.
- To speed up the implementation of the ASEAN work plan on combating illicit drug production, trafficking and use, and the roadmap for an ASEAN Community.
- Reaffirmed the ASEAN’s commitment to eradicate illicit drug production, processing, trafficking, and use.
- Agreed on the benchmarks for the significant and sustainable reduction of illicit crop cultivation, illicit trafficking and manufacturing and the prevalence of illicit drug use.
- For the ASEAN Senior Officials on Drug Matters (ASOD) to monitor the implementation of ASEAN work plan on combating illicit drug production, trafficking and use and to integrate it in their national plan on drug control.
- To give full attention to the interception of illicit drug smuggling along the border, waterway and by air.
- To increase the attention to the demand reduction work in parallel with illicit drug supply reduction efforts.
- For the ASEAN coordinating council to make annual reports to the ASEAN leaders on the progress of the implementation of the ASEAN Political-Security Community blueprint in the area of drug-free ASEAN.
- For the ASEAN Secretariat to coordinate with relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies in launching drug control programme.
- For the ASEAN sectoral bodies to coordinate and cooperate with ASOD in implementing joint projects on drug law enforcement and to create drug awareness.
- Deepen coordination and cooperation measures through the sharing of information and best practices in order to enhance enforcement of illicit drug control in the region by enhancing networking among ASOD and ASEAN sectoral bodies and increasing information sharing among law enforcement authorities.
- Continue the cooperation with China and UNODC in the ASEAN and China Cooperative Operation in Response to Dangerous Drugs (ACCORD) mechanisms.
Asia-Pacific High-Level Intergovernmental Meeting on the Assessment of Progress against Commitments in the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS and the Millennium Development Goals
This is organized by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in cooperation with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, the United Nations Population Fund, the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization.
The meeting was attended by senior officials of ministries/agencies on Justice/Public Security/ Law Enforcement, Drug Control, Health and Social Welfare and Protection from ESCAP members and associates including the Philippines. It was held on February 6-8, 2012 at the UN Conference Center in Bangkok, Thailand.
Usec. Edgar C. Galvante, DDB Permanent Board Member formed part of the Philippine Delegation with Usec. Austere Panadero of the Department of Interior and Local Government, Usec. Alicia Bala of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Usec. Leah Armamento of the Department of Justice, Asec. Eric Tayag of the Department of Health and Dr. Susan Gregorio of the Philippine National Aids Council.
The meeting aimed to assess regional progress against commitments in the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS and the Millennium Development Goals; identify areas for regional cooperation, particularly in addressing policy and legal barriers to universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support; and, promote multi-sectoral dialogue between health and other sectors, including justice, law and order and drug control.
55th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs
This is an annual meeting of high-level narcotic officials from around the world that aims to discuss the international drug situation and the implementation of the United Nations drug control conventions.
Aside from the different aspects of drug control discussed in the plenary, the meeting was also highlighted by the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Hague Opium Convention.
For this year’s CND, twelve resolutions were filed concerning the promotion of international cooperation in responding to the challenges posed by new psychoactive substances; promotion of programs aimed at treatment, rehabilitation and reintegration of drug dependents; One hundredth anniversary of the International Opium Convention; proposal to organize an international workshop and conference on alternative development; strategies and measures addressing specific needs of women in the context of comprehensive and integrated drug demand reduction programs and strategies; development of an international electronic import and export authorization system for licit trade in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances; promotion of measures to prevent drug overdose; the Plan of Action with respect to the development of strategies on special marketing regimes for alternative development; measures to support African States in their efforts to combat the world drug problem; promotion of evidence-based drug prevention strategies and policies; the third ministerial conference of the Paris Pact Partners on Combating Illicit Traffic in Opiates Originating in Afghanistan; and, the alternatives to imprisonment for certain offences as demand reduction strategies that promote public health and public safety.
Study Visit of the National Narcotics Board Indonesia
As part of its commitment to promote regional and international cooperation, the Dangerous Drugs Board welcomed officials of the National Narcotics Board of Indonesia for a study visit on November 26-December 1, 2012.
Officials from Indonesia were introduced to DDB officials, some stakeholders and service providers. During their stay, they were given briefings and orientations on the different anti-drug abuse programs implemented by the Philippine government through the DDB.
They were interested particularly on the Alternative Development and Treatment and Rehabilitation programs of the country. They paid a visit to the offices of different anti-drug abuse councils; Kapatiran Kaunlaran People’s Coalition, a community based treatment and rehabilitation center; Self Enhancement for Life Foundation, Inc.; and the sericulture site in Benguet.
International Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Heads of Specialized National Agencies Against the World Drug Problem
This is a meeting attended by Assistant Secretary Benjamin P. Reyes, DDB Deputy Executive Director for Operations, which aimed to achieve continuing political consensus on the world vision for the drug problem. This was held on June 25-26, 2012 in Lima, Peru.
The conference revolved around the discussion of three concerns or issues in relation to the world drug problem. These are drug demand reduction, supply reduction, and alternative development.
On the issue of drug demand reduction, Asec. Reyes expressed the country’s concerns on strengthening awareness campaigns targeting the young and vulnerable, supporting reforms on treatment and rehabilitation, fostering international cooperation that has proven effective in providing the Philippines with ideas that can be remodeled to prevent and reduce the burden of drug dependency.
The supply reduction discussion, on the other hand, strengthened the idea that supply reduction efforts must go hand-in-hand with demand reduction initiatives and that one should never take precedence over the other.
When it comes to alternative development, the following should be taken into consideration. Visionary leadership/Political will and commitment to support development must always be present to achieve maximum impact in implementation; involvement of the community is necessary to encourage holistic and inclusive development; and international support must be encouraged to help developing countries sustain investments on development that protect the environment or natural resources.
The conference did not only provided an opportunity for the country to participate in an international discussion on drug concerns but also the chance to create new networks that can help provide technical and logistical support to existing initiatives.
6th Asian Recovery Symposium
This is an international conference organized by the Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Programme (CPDAP) to celebrate people in recovery and laud the work of treatment providers.
Aptly themed, “Recovery: Everyone Benefits,” the symposium aimed to promote the societal benefits of addiction treatment, laud the contributions of treatment providers and promote the message that recovery from substance abuse disorders in all its forms is possible; to celebrate people in recovery who have overcome stigma, denial, and other barriers to treatment and as a result are leading healthy and productive lives in recovery; to focus on improving access to recovery among the large number of recovering people who have difficulty obtaining treatment for substance abuse disorders; to educate concerned family members or codependents on family therapy to enhance the knowledge and skills of participants on addiction treatment and aftercare, particularly to prevent relapse and achieve whole person recovery; and to share strategies that enable recovering persons sustain sobriety and achieve success in socio economic development and entrepreneurship.
For this symposium held on January 16-18 in New Delhi, India, the DDB nominated Mr. Eddie L. Castillo, President/Executive Director of Seagulls Flight Foundation and Mr. Alvin Joseph A. Del Pilar, Counselor of the Dangerous Drugs Board - European Union Treatment and Rehabilitation Center.