DILG urges CAR LGUs to provide former drug users access to rehab programs

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) urged the local government units (LGUs) in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) to grant persons who were addicted to illegal drugs but already wants to reform their lives easy access to the government’s rehabilitation and reintegration programs.

“It is one of our mandates to safeguard the well-being of the public and establish a healthcare system that is accessible and affordable,” said DILG-CAR Director Araceli San Jose.

San Jose stressed that the renewed call supports the declaration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. that the campaign against illegal drugs should start in the barangays and should promote the participation of communities in addressing drug abuse.

“Our local governments should take the lead in implementing and monitoring Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation (CBDRP). The provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays may implement their own programs if there is a perceived need due to a high number of surrenderers or PWUDs in the area and if they are capable of implementing the CBDRP,” she added.

San Jose emphasized that all LGUs shall process and review the certification of their CBDRP in accordance with Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Board Regulation (BR) No. 4, series of 2020 or the guidelines for the oversight of general interventions.

“All general interventions and Community-Based Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Programs (CBDTRPs) implemented by the LGUs including those implemented by partner agencies and organizations must be documented and certified in compliance with the minimum service requirements provided in relevant orders of the Department of Health (DOH) and the DDB”, San Jose noted.

San Jose also stated that the Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (ADACs) should perform self-evaluation of existing intervention programs for PWUDs implemented in their respective areas of jurisdiction using the CBDRP checklist.

“The Provincial/City/Municipal ADACs should submit their intervention programs they are providing to the Regional Dangerous Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program (RDDAPTTP) Coordinators or DOH coordinator for review and certification of their CBDRP,” San Jose continued.

“The program must be endorsed by the ADACs and attested by the LGU Health Officer wherein they can now implement their CBDRP once the LGUs receive the certification from the DOH,” she added.

Based on DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2018 -125, the CBDRP refers to an integrated model for drug users with moderate risk of drug dependence and with mild severity of addiction which has two core components including Community-Based Support Services (CBSS) that provides activities that can contribute to the well-being of PWUDs, and Community-Based Treatment (CBT) which provides a continuum services from health to non – specialists assistance to meet the PWUDs needs.

San Jose pointed out that all PWUDs who volunteer to submit themselves and undergo rehabilitation will be considered as surrenderers wherein they are given brief intervention by the ADACs of the LGUs.

“The ADACs shall discuss the benefits of undergoing rehabilitation, the CBDRP and other interventions the surrenderer may avail of depending on the PWUD’s needs,” San Jose said.

The DILG-CAR chief also called on the ADACs to conduct annual post-program monitoring of CBDRP graduates to avoid relapse and determine if further intervention is needed for rehabilitation and/or intervention. (Chito A. Chavez)