DSWD seeks budget approval for Aftercare, Reintegration and Transformation Support for Recovering Drug Dependents Program

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has already submitted a budget proposal for the operationalization and implementation of the "Reintegration, Rehabilitation and Transformation Support for Recovering Drug Dependents" or Pillar III of the National Drug Rehabilitation Program.

The DSWD acted on instructions from Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco to submit the proposal to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for consolidation and to get approval for it from Budget Sec. Benjamin Diokno.

The proposal is for a total fund allocation of Php 1,452,982, 078.34 for CY 2016 October-December and 2017.

The target participants are 37,916 drug surrenderers for the months of October to December 2016 (10% of 622,898 of drug surrenderers as of August 11, 2016. These are numbers based on records of the Philippine National Police) ; and 41,708 drug surrenderers from January - December 2017.

"This effort to implement Pillar III: Aftercare, Reintegration and Transformation Support for Recovering Drug Dependents are in line with the call of Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte to eliminate drugs in the country and to provide government-wide full support to the recovering drug dependents," said DSWD Sec. Judy M. Taguiwalo

"What we want is to help the drug users and pushers who have surrendered to rehabilitate themselves and return to the fold of society as productive members. Each of them have stories and personal histories that have led them to lives of drug using or peddling, and we hope that through the series of interventions our government agencies want to provide to them, we can help them leave this segment of their lives behind them," she said.

"Our country's drug problem has to be addressed through interventions that go to the root causes: poverty caused by lack of social support for many Filipinos, corruption in various levels in the various agencies of government, and lack of sustainable, productive employment for the poor," she said.

"The three Pillars of this program for drug pushers/users are meant to pave the way towards lasting solutions to the drug problem," Sec. Taguiwalo added.

Under the Pillar III, the Cash for Work (CFW) otherwise known as the Assistance to Communities in Need of the Protective Services, Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS), and the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) are recommended to be funded to provide assistance to the recovering drug dependents along with other psychosocial programs of the Department and other programs of other agencies.

The budget requirement includes the creation of staff requirement which will be lodged at the Central Office, 18 Field Offices and 81 Social Welfare and Development Team (SWADT) Offices beginning October to December for CY 2016, and January to December for CY 2017.

The three proposed Pillars of Interventions are of follows:

1. Pillar I: The Department of Health (DOH) as the lead agency along with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), PNP and DILG, the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) in the creation of a data base/profile of the surrenderers. The screening and referral for appropriate services to include but not limited to drug testing, treatment and rehabilitation, mental health facility/medical center/hospital and provision of support i.e. education, skills training, job opportunities, psycho-social, medical, etc.

2. Pillar II: The Community Based Rehabilitation Pillar will be led by the Ugnayan ng Barangay at Simbahan (UBAS) along with other line agencies such as the PNP, the DSWD, the Technical and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the DILG and the Department of Health. The objective of this Pillar is to design a community-based and holistic recovery and rehabilitation programs to make the community (barangay level) a rehabilitation center for drug user/pusher surrenderers.

3. Pillar III: The Aftercare, Reintegration and Transformation Support for Recovering Drug Dependents will be led by the DSWD with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the DILG, the DOH, DOJ-Parole and Probation Administration, the Dept. of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Dept. of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Technological and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC). These agencies will work together to provide a wide-array of aftercare services to recovering drug dependents to strengthen their rehabilitation and reintegration.

Source: Philippine Information Agency

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