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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.

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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.

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. Reaffirmed the ASEAN’s commitment to eradicate illicit drug production, processing, trafficking, and use.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. To give full attention to the interception of illicit drug smuggling along the border, waterway and by air.
  6. To increase the attention to the demand reduction work in parallel with illicit drug supply reduction efforts.
  7. 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.
  8. For the ASEAN Secretariat to coordinate with relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies in launching drug control programme.
  9. For the ASEAN sectoral bodies to coordinate and cooperate with ASOD in implementing joint projects on drug law enforcement and to create drug awareness.
  10. 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.
  11. Continue the cooperation with China and UNODC in the ASEAN and China Cooperative Operation in Response to Dangerous Drugs (ACCORD) mechanisms.

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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

SAM 3576This  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.

SAM 3564The 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.

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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.