December 6, 2022

The Cordillera Inter-agency Committee on Anti-illegal Drugs (ICAD) is set to conduct a capacity building activity for barangays on screening and handling illegal drugs surrenderers.

In the ICAD Advocacy Cluster 1st Quarter virtual meeting, the regional offices of the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency agreed to spearhead the conduct of training for barangay officials for the establishment of referral desk in their community for screening and handling, particularly on the execution of affidavit by drug surrenderers.

The capacity building will also include orientation on the programs and services offered by various government agencies that could help rehabilitate and re-integrate drug surrenderers as members of the community.

Based on PDEA-Cordillera data, there are still 75 drug-affected barangays in the region, 741 drug-cleared barangays need validation for the retention of their status, and 361 need confirmation for the issuance of drug-free certificates.

Police Regional Office-Cordillera records, meanwhile, showed there are 11,392 drug surrenderers in the region of which 8,082 graduated from the Recovery and Wellness Program from July 1, 2016 to April 29. 

The ICAD Advocacy Cluster, chaired by the DILG-Cordillera, is in charge of the promotion and downloading of the government’s anti-illegal drug policies and programs. It also enjoins local government units to continuously support anti-illegal drugs policies and to assist in the implementation of measures towards drug abuse prevention and eradication program.

During the meeting, the DILG gave an orientation on the Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation Program for individuals suffering from low and mild drug use, as downloaded to LGUs under DILG Memorandum Circular 2018-125.

The DILG also presented the LGUs’ mandate to establish a special drug education center for out-of-school youth and street children, as provided under DILG Memorandum Circular 2021-001.

DILG-Cordillera OIC Director Araceli San Jose expressed gratitude to the committee members for the focused and synchronized actions and called for continuing efforts to complement the anti-illegal drugs initiatives in the region. – Carlito C. Dar