MANILA, July 4 — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is urging all local government units (LGUs) nationwide to actively participate in the government’s unified campaign against illegal drugs termed as “Rehabinasyon”.
The Rehabinasyon (Embrace/Rehabilitate the Nation) aims to take a wholistic approach in making sure that the country’s drug problem will be eliminated using the full extent of the law, and at the same time putting importance on the rehabilitation of drug surrenderers.
DILG Officer-In-Charge Catalino Cuy said the Department has committed to mobilize all LGUs, including the barangays, in the Rehabinasyon campaign whose role is critical in the fight against illegal drugs.
Under Republic Act No. 7160, or the “Local Government Code of 1991”, barangays are mandated to adopt measures towards the prevention and eradication of drug abuse in their locality.
“For the Rehabinasyon to be effective, it has to be complemented by the LGUs,” Cuy said.
The Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) launched the Rehabinasyon campaign on June 21, 2017 where the DILG is a member and the DILG Secretary is chair of the advocacy cluster composed of 17 agencies.
The ICAD was created through Executive Order No. 15 and is under the supervision of the Office of the President (OP).
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) serves as the ICAD chair.
Aside from the law enforcement programs like “Oplan Tokhang” and “Double Barrel”, Cuy said that the rehabilitation and treatment of drug dependents as well as public awareness are equally important.
Under the Oplan Tokhang (Knock/Request), the houses of suspected drug personalities are visited by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and they are asked to turn back from their illegal activity, surrender or undergo rehabilitation.
“Earlier in this administration, everyone was overwhelmed by the number of surrenderers and a big part of that number are users who do not require confinement in rehabilitation centers but instead in community-based rehabilitation where LGUs will be engaged and actively take part,” Cuy said.
He said in the community-based rehabilitation system, individuals who are not heavily dependent on drugs can report to the LGU from time to time.
They (drug dependents) can go back to their homes or report to their employer if they are working provided they complete the program and promise to be clean.
Among others, the community-based rehabilitation for drug surrenderers also includes livelihood training, food for work program, agri-based program, sports and spiritual enhancement and re-integration programs. (PTR/PNA)