DSWD, partner-agencies strengthen efforts to help recovering drug dependents

Amid efforts to reinforce programs and services for drug dependents, the Department of Social Welfare and Development spearheaded a multi-agency Training of Trainers (TOT) on the Implementation of Aftercare, Reintegration and Transformation Support for Recovering Drug Dependents, held recently at the Social Welfare and Development Center for Asia and the Pacific (SWADCAP) in Taguig City.

The activity was participated in by the focal persons from the 17 regional offices of DSWD, as well as partner agencies, like the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Department of Health (DOH), National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Department of Justice Parole and Probation Administration (DOJ-PPA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Education (DepEd), Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), and Department of Agriculture (DA).

Resource persons from partner-agencies discussed the scope of drug dependency in the Philippines, existing programs in rehabilitation centers managed by DOH, and community-based programs to be implemented by DILG.

According to PDEA Information Officer V, Louie Lagasca, the Philippines is the second top shabu user in Southeast Asia. Shabu, marijuana and ecstasy are major types of drugs in the country.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jasmin Peralta, Program Manager of DOH-Dangerous Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program (DDAPTP) disclosed that as of July 16, there are 44 DOH-accredited Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers. Of this number, 16 are government operated, while 26 are run by the private sector like NGOs, and foundations.

The DILG, for its part will focus on its community based rehabilitation program, which shall include the organization of community rehabilitation network (CRN) and mobilization of the Mamamayang Ayaw sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Ilegal na Droga (MASA MASID) at the barangay level.

According to Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo, there is a need to come up with effective rehabilitation programs in view of the administration's relentless drive against illegal drugs, resulting to the surrender of thousands of pushers and users.

"Kailangang may komprehensibong programa, lalo na para sa mga menor de edad upang sila'y matulungang makapagbagong buhay. Hindi lamang DSWD ang magpapatupad nito kundi lahat ng ahensyang may mandato o tungkuling tumulong sa mga nalulon sa droga (There is a need for a comprehensive program, especially for minors to help them transform their lives. It is not only DSWD which shall implement this, but other agencies mandated to help drug dependents)."

Source: Philippine Information Agency