• DILG chief, Leni team up in drug rehab program

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    Secretary Ismael Sueno of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has found an ally in Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo, who has vowed to help in the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.

    Sueno and Robredo announced their team-up as they and Secretary to the Cabinet Leoncio Evasco Jr. led the fifth inter-agency meeting on the government’s drug rehabilitation program at the DILG-National Police Commission Center in Quezon City on Tuesday.

    The DILG chief commended various agencies for developing a framework and processes and establishing partnerships with other sectors, including taipans and faith-based groups.

    He thanked Robredo for volunteering to take an active part in the program

    “We really don’t have the luxury of time. We really have to help each other out here,” according to the Vice President.

    Saying the Office of the Vice President can help encourage public-private partnerships, she cited active community efforts in her hometown Naga City, Camarines Sur, against drugs.

    Sueno said the best practices of Naga shall be studied and replicated.

    Meanwhile, Evasco requested the DILG to draft an Executive Order that shall identify agencies and define their roles in the community-based rehablitation program in the city, municipal and barangay (village) level.

    He asked the Interior department to consolidate estimates of budgets needed for three of the five so-called pillars of the community-based rehabilitation program.

    Recently, Evasco, Sueno and other officials met with 13 business leaders in Malacañang on how the latter can contribute to construction of the rehabilitation centers or to the community-based rehabilitation program.

    Last month, San Miguel Corp. pledged to donate P1 billion to the government for the construction of new drug rehabilitation facilities.

    Faith-based groups such as Caritas Manila, Jesus is Lord, Prison Fellowship International and the Philippines for Jesus Movement have expressed their support for the rehabilitation program.

    Sultan Kudarat and Quezon have also conveyed their willingness to donate land for construction of rehabilitation centers.

    The first pillar of the rehabilitation program is called the Identification and Classification Phase where drug surrenderers are to be profiled, screened and referred to appropriate services whether for treatment in rehabilitation centers or community-based facilities.

    The second pillar called Community-Based Rehabilitation Program and dubbed as “Care” program is where surrenderees will undergo family, community and patient care.

    The third pillar is called Aftercare, Reintegration and Transformation Support for Recovering Drug Dependents.

    Its objective is to provide interventions through a convergence of the services of various agencies such as sustainable livelihood program, training programs, cash for work and arts and culture activities.

    According to the DOH, about 10 percent or 70,000 of the 700,000 surrenderers need to be treated in rehabiitation centers, while the rest can recover through the community-based program.

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