June 14, 2024

Line agencies in the Cordillera have stepped up activities to combat illegal drugs and ensure continuity of programs designed for the recuperation of persons who use drugs (PWUDs).

The Inter-agency Committee on Anti-illegal Drugs (ICAD) Advocacy Cluster convened on May 15 to discuss how to strengthen measures and activities in addressing issues on the prevalence of drug cases in the region.

With the inconsistent number of barangays being declared drug free and drug cleared, the cluster plans on building up engagements with local government units through the local government operations officers, to reiterate the process of validation and verification of the barangays.

The cluster will also focus on fast-tracking the Community-Based Rehabilitation Program (CBRDP) module, which will be used by local communities to help the PWUDs.

The CBRDP is a holistic community approach in rehabilitating surrendered drug personalities. With the module, patients are given various interventions focusing on the healing of the body, mind and soul.

The ICAD also plans to strengthen the campaign to LGUs regarding the three insulating witnesses during physical inventory and photograph of seized prohibited drugs and other seized items to ensure the smooth process of drug-related cases.

Section 21 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 requires that three insulating witnesses – an elected official, a representative from the Department of Justice, and a media representative – must all be present during inventory and photograph of seized items.

To enhance the campaign on drug awareness, the ICAD will be pitching in during the Buhay Ingatan, Droga’y Ayawan (BIDA) program anniversary, which will be held in Kalinga on June 24.

The BIDA, a flagship program of the Department of Interior and Local Government, in partnership with other national government agencies and civil society organizations, is aimed at raising awareness and combating illegal drugs and drug abuse.

The ICAD is also eyeing to conduct information education campaign in the mining areas in the region as part of the BIDA program. – Clienteast Van B. Totanes