February 22, 2024

An online database for persons who use drugs (PWUDs) in Baguio City was launched during the fourth quarter meeting of the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (Cadac) to harmonize information from the government agencies involved on illegal drugs prevention and control.

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, being the chair of the Cadac, directed the Management Information Technology Division to develop the Baguio Reintegration and Aftercare Information System (RAIS) that would unify all information on PWUDs including patient treatment plan.

“We need to harmonize our data to avoid redundancy of names in our records since PWUDs have a 70 percent relapse rate even after undergoing rehabilitation – if without follow-up or proper treatment management,” Magalong said.

City Social Welfare Development Officer II Raquel Madlon said 883 PWUDs have undergone the Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation Program (CBDRP) of the city since 2016.

For 2023, Madlon said there were 73 individuals who finished the CBDRP, an integrated model for helping persons who use drugs with low to mild severity of drug use.

Of the 128 barangays in Baguio City, 124 have been declared drug-cleared but the regional office of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency reported there is still high market demand for illegal substances in the city despite intensified campaign against the same.

Capt. Aldrin Saltin of the Baguio City Police Office-Drug Enforcement Unit reported 69 operations on illegal drugs have been carried out from January to August this year resulting in the apprehension of 91 individuals.

A total of 615.14 grams marijuana has been confiscated equivalent to P73,000 market value and 5,743 grams of methamphetamine hydro-chloride or shabu confiscated worth more than P3 billion including a stock house raided in Irisan early this year.

Magalong said with the Baguio RAIS, agencies will be able to revisit barangays to ensure that they are indeed drug-cleared.

Offices with access to the Baguio RAIS include the PDEA, BCPO, CSWDO, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the City Health Services Office.

The mayor assured those involved with the data management of the Baguio RAIS will have to sign a pledge of non-disclosure policy and abide by the protocols of the country’s Data Privacy Act and Cybersecurity Law. – Jess Mardy P. Samidan