DSWD eyes P1.4B to help drug surrenderees

Patty Pasion
DSWD eyes P1.4B to help drug surrenderees
The proposed amount will be used for DSWD's programs for reintegrating reformed drug users back to the community

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) proposes an allocation of P1.4 billion for the national drug rehabilitation program that will service the more than 600,000 drug personalities who have surrendered to the authorities.

DSWD Undersecretary Vilma Cabrera on Tuesday, September 13, said that the proposed amount will be used for the agency’s part in the inter-agency drug rehabilitation program that will be spearheaded by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The agency’s role in the 3-part rehabilitation program will be reintegrating the drug users back to the community, which will be the last phase.

“Once they are released to the community, that’s when we give them our services, such as psycho-social support…. We [will also] provide support, such as sustainable livelihood and capacity-building programs [for them],” she told lawmakers in Filipino.

DILG and the Department of Health will be the lead agencies in the first phase of the program, which involves profiling of drug users. Local government units (LGUs), the church and civil society, meanwhile, will be the key players in the second phase – the community-based activities. (READ: Communities, private sector help is key in nationwide rehab program)

For the initial parts of the program, DSWD will just train the social workers hired by the LGUs.

DILG earlier said that it is set to launch the program in September.

The Office of the Vice President, the Dangerous Drugs Board, the Department of Education, and the Commission on Higher Education will also take part in the program.

According to DILG Undersecretary John Castriciones, majority of the more than 600,000 drug users and pushers who have turned themselves in will benefit from the comprehensive program since only more than 10,000 of them needs to be placed in rehabilitation centers or mental institutions. – Rappler.com

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Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.