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    Response of Vice President Leni Robredo after the DILG Briefing on Drug Rehabilitation Programs of the Country

    6 September 2016

    VP LENI: Unang-una po gusto kong magpasalamat sa DILG. Ni-request ko po ang briefing na ito at napakabilis po ng response ni Secretary Mike. I have requested for this briefing kasi I really want to know which area our Office can be of help.

    Alam natin na napakaraming kailangang gawin as far as the national drug campaign is concerned at gusto naming malaman kung saan kami puwedeng pumasok. Nagpapasalamat po kami sa efforts na binigay na sa kampanyang ito ng iba’t ibang ahensiya.

    Pinakinggan ko kanina ang presentations, marami nang nagawa pero we have to admit na marami pang kailangang gawin. We have also made prior engagements already.

    We had a meeting with DOH, gumawa din kami ng paunang salita o briefing but I think it was the DOH who told us about the 700,000 surrenderies pero dito, 10 percent only ang nangangailangang ipasok sa rehabilitation centers and the rest, kanina sabi Usec kailangang i-commit sa mental institutions, but the larger part of it actually need community rehab.

    Napakagada po ng presentation ng Cluster 2 in the sense na very comprehensive siya. Comment ko lang, there are already existing models we can use.

    Mahirap kasi iyong magsisimula tayo sa umpisa kasi naghahabol tayo. Parang iyong 700,000 nandiyan bago nagkaroon ng programa not the other way around.

    We do not have the luxury of time kaya kailangan na siyang pagtulung-tulungan. I am glad that UBAS was involved siguro alam naman ng mga taga-DILG na UBAS was started when my husband was the DILG Secretary and the concept of UBAS was really a take off from the very strong community – church – government partnership in Naga.

    Father Anto is familiar with this. Usec Austere is familiar with this. The Naga People’s City Council has always been the model for people participation, people empowerment, community-government partnership and that partnership started with the partnership between the government and the Archdiocese of Caceres.

    Dahil naging very successful siya sa Naga, during my husband’s first few months as DILG Secretary, sinulatan niya iyong lahat ng bishops.

    My chief of staff now is also my husband’s chief of staff sinulatan nila ang lahat ng bishops asking them to partner with DILG at doon nagsimula ang UBAS.

    If I am not mistaken it was Bishop Tobias who first responded to the call. Si Bishop Tobias, Father Tony Labiao is with him kaya siya iyong point person, point priest sa UBAS.

    When my husband died, sinubukan namin ituloy ni Father Tony ang pagpapalaganap ng UBAS and we have been working with the League of Barangays to propagate UBAS at nakakatuwa na 26,000 barangay na ang may UBAS.

    Ang reality marami ang nag-organize na pero marami ang organisado lang sa papel. Pero iyong ninanais nating partnership wala pa doon. The reason why I am very interested in doing my share especially in community rehab is concerned is our experience in Naga.

    Lahat naman tayo naniniwala na the way to approach it is treatment, rehabilitation, and reintegration. Sa Naga, malaki iyong drug problem kasi it is the center of the region.

    For many years now, nagtayo na talaga ng Naga City Anti-Drug Abuse Council. Very active iyong drug council and every barangay have their own BADACs. Iyong BADAC kasi it is required under the law pero maraming barangay ang walang BADAC o may BADAC pero hindi operational so kailangan nating magsimula sa simula.

    So sa Naga, active ang BADAC pero may acceptance na hindi ganoon kadali ang rehabilitation. Hindi siya nadadala sa programa lang. It really has to be an entire community affair.

    So we had to organize the families of the drug dependents kaya sa amin mayroon din kaming MADA o Mothers Against Drug Abuse. Very active din iyon. Iyong mga nahuhuli doon talaga ipinapasok sa programang iyon. It has been very successful but it is not a perfect one.

    Hindi lang iyong Naga ang may magandang programa sa community rehabilitation. I know for a fact that the province of Catanduanes has a very good anti-drug abuse program and it is also in partnership with the Catholic Church. Very effective talaga kapag faith-based ang rehabilitation program.

    Ang sa akin lang, ang una kong tanong, sa 700,000 surrenderees nasaan sila ngayon kasi my Fridays and Saturdays I go around the country and there have been a few times na nandoon ako na pi-present sa surrenderies sa Mayor and ang comment ng Mayor is hindi namin alam kung anong gagawin sa kanila.

    After ng surrender, may kaunting salita tapos maghihiwalay din. Two weeks ago may pinatay na nurse sa St. Luke’s. Iyong salarin kaka-surrender lang. So after noong surrender walang programa kaya kailangan talaga nating maghabol.

    Ang una kong tanong, nasaan iyong 700,00 na iyon? The plans are there but we do admit na it will take a while for us to operationalize those plans. Ang tanong ko lang ang may mga volunteer na tulong hindi ba natin puwedeng simulan na while in-ooperationalize ang lahat.

    Halimbawa ang OVP tutulong. Kaya namin ng limang lugar. Aling limang lugar ang puwede ninyong i-assign sa amin na puwede na kaming tumulong to operationalize while inaayos pa ang proseso.

    Halimbawa iyong San Miguel, si Andrew Tan nag-offer. Kung may mga offer na ganito, bakit hindi na tayo mag-pool ng resources para masimulan na agad. Ang worry ko baka magningas-cogon.

    We have 700,000 surrenderees pero we should not treat them as an accomplishment kasi it is just a means to reach a target. Ang target natin is maalis na sila sa addiction and we al know na iyong pag-surrender will not solve it.

    Surrender is just step one.

    Baka puwede nating pagtulung-tulungan iyong mga puwede nang simulan. What am I just saying is the program is very good, pero baka puwedeng at this point may umpisahan na tayo.

    Nasaan ang surrenderees, doon daw sa mga LGUs na may surrenderees may ginagawa na ba ‘yong LGUs. I know sa amin, ano na iyon institutionalized na. Alam ko ang Quezon City very active na sa kanilang programa. So baka hindi na kailangan tulungan. Pero nasaan ‘yong LGUs na napakaraming surrenderees na pwede na nating tulungan ngayon na ino-operationalize pa natin ‘yong programa.

    May isang hindi na-mention doon. Ano ‘yong gagawin sa mga nakakulong because of drugs. I visited the Women’s Correctional here in Quezon City. And about 70% of all the, grabe ‘yong congestion, pero about 70% of all the detainees are there because of drugs.

    So ‘yong tanong ko doon, ano ba ‘yong programa ninyo aside from them serving their sentence, or aside from them waiting for their cases to be finalized sa courts. Ano ‘yong ginagawa na rehabilitation inside, ‘yong sagot sa akin wala.

    So baka puwede natin silang isama sa programa. Kasi sabihin natin na-convict sila, naka-serve sila ng sentence, paglabas nila ganoon pa din iyon. Kasi hindi naman nagkaroon ng treatment, hindi naman nagkaroon ng rehabilitation. So pagbalik nila sa society, hindi sila ready na i-integrate.

    Hindi naman natin sila puwedeng i-keep forever kasi grabe nga ang jail congestion. So baka pwede nating, I don’t know if, tingin ko Cluster 3 iyon.

    Ewan ko lang Ma’am, hindi ba iyon cluster 3? [Hindi po.]

    Hindi kasi iyon magiging community rehab kasi nasa loob sila.

    DSWD REPRESENTATIVE: After Cluster 2, Ma’am, they will be classified into two. One is, will undergo the community based, the other be committed to the [unintelligible].

    VP LENI: Okay. Kasi hindi ko nakita siya sa presentation. But I think that’s one area na nandoon na. Iyon nga ‘yong sabi ko.

    Actually Vice Mayor Joel is also inviting me to take a look on also the men’s correctional. Kasi sabi niya kung ‘yong women’s correctional grabe na, mas grabe pa ‘yong sa men’s correctional.

    So ang sa akin lang, after they have served their sentences if there is no intervention, ganoon din ‘yon. Iyong presentation doon sa 3, you talked about the many programs of DSWD.

    Okay naman iyon, ‘yong AICS, SLP, Cash for Work, etc. Pero ang sa akin lang, ‘yong experience ko kasi, Ma’am, I’ve been a human rights lawyer for a long time and one of the sectors na tinutulungan ko ‘yong mga CICLs, ‘yong children in conflict with the law.

    I noticed that we don’t have a direct program for CICLs. Parang they are integrated into a general program. Ang worry ko lang kung ‘yong CICL nga matagal nang programa ng gobyerno, wala pa din tayong strategic program for their rehabilitation and reintegration baka ‘yong sa drugs ganoon din.

    In the sense na tingin ko kasi hindi sila puwedeng i-lump lang sa general program ng AICS, Cash for Work, kasi I don’t think it will help them para malampasan ang kanilang addiction.

    I think it has to be something more strategic and something more direct. ‘Yong maging direct ang intervention specifically for drug dependence. Kasi ‘yon ang frustration ko sa CICLs, in fact I have discussed this so many times already with the section in charge of the CICLs.

    Sabi ko baka puwede ‘yong programa specifically for that para na-sosolve natin ang problema. Iyong suggestion ko lang, halimbawa mayroon tayong AICS, SLP, Cash for Work for drug dependents, mas pointed siya.

    Pag sinabi mong mas pointed, hindi siya pareho ng iba na tinulungan mo lang na may pang-araw-araw siya. Pero mas programmatic siya na mas makakatulong talaga sa kanya na malampasan ang drug addiction.

    I think kailangan na natin pagtulungan ito lahat. Hindi biro ang problema, but we want to make a point na rehabilitation is the way to go. Kailangan natin tulungan ‘yong, pag DOH we look at it as a public health problem.

    Mayroong mga ibang lens na ginagamit, pero I think whatever lens we will use, we all agree. That the way to go is treatment, rehabilitation and reintegration.

    We can make this conclusion from the experiences of all the other countries who have been involved in this war. Ang sa akin lang, lahat ng puwedeng tumulong, pagtulungan na.

    Sabi ko nga, ang opisina namin, we don’t have as much mandate as the other agencies. Alam naman iyon ng lahat.

    But we are very willing; in fact we can help you with private partnerships because that’s also our strength. We have made several strides already with the Catholic Church, marami nang nag-vovolunteer ng tulong, but we want to help in a more coordinated manner para hindi din tayo nagdu-duplicate.

    So that is really our purpose for this time. So ang sa amin lang before I leave, hingi lang po sana kami Sec ng parang guidance, nasaan ba ‘yong, alam ko kalat sa buong Pilipinas ang 700,000, pero saan ‘yong mga propensity mataas, tapos wala pang programang existing.

    Kasi baka puwedeng habang ginagawa ito lahat, pagtulung-tulungan natin. Gaya ng sabi ko, I think it could be worthwhile to look a the existing models already to check what the best practices are.

    Of course I’m familiar with the model in Naga, it’s been going on already for quite a while. Kanina na-mention ni Asec ‘yong anti-criminality, anti-corruption, anti-illegal drugs.

    So ito mayroon na kaming nitong existing institutions in Naga. ‘Yong anti-criminality, mayroon kaming tinatawag na Bangkat. It’s also street-based, lahat ng streets merong Bangkat.

    Kaya siya tinatawag na Bangkat kasi Bantay Kataid, ang kataid sa amin is neighbor. So bantay, parang it’s a community watch.

    It’s also been very effective. ‘Yong anti-corruption na nagwork sa amin Asec, na model talaga ‘yong Naga City People’s Council. It’s really a very good model. And it’s been institutionalized already.

    We have an empowerment ordinance. And when I was a member of the 16th Congress, I actually authored a bill, Empowerment Bill. Imbitado po kayo, mag-fiesta na po kami next week baka gusto ninyo [laughs].

    I authored po an Empowerment Bill hoping sana na maipasa para ‘yong lahat ng local governments magkaroon nang ganoon. Kasi ‘yong anti-corruption talaga it’s really basically making public officials accountable, making all government processes transparent, and empowering the people to engage with government.

    So madaming panaginip, pero ang gusto kong sabihin, aside from our panaginip dapat may gawin na tayo.

    So kami po, thank you very much for this briefing nag-vovolunteer na po kami.

    Kapag mayroon na kaming puwedeng umpisahan o i-pilot para ipakita natin na this will work para ma-engganyo na din po ang iba.

    Siguro we also think of ways to incentivize LGUs na tumutulong sa programa, pero kami we’re here to tell you na we’re ready to help.

    Just assign to us, or kami ‘yong magsasabi sa inyo kaya naman ito o hindi namin ito kaya.

    But let’s all be in this together. I forgot one thing pala Asec, you were talking about community rehab programs. Sa amin po mayroon po kaming institutionalized na community rehab programs but not just with drug abuse.

    Iyong sa amin po tinulungan po kami ng DOH kasi ‘yong amin pong community rehab program, di ba sa community natin marami ‘yon mga PWDs, maraming mga victims na wala namang pera na pupunta sa ospital every so often para sa rehabilitation nila.

    So ‘yong sa amin we requested hospitals, we requested organization of doctors to train our barangay health workers. Iyong barangay health workers namin, we do community rehabilitation pero we also trained the caregivers. Kaya ‘yong caregivers ‘yong natutulung-tulong sa community if it can happen sa PWDs and victims, it can happen sa drug dependents.

    Sa amin lang po, we will forward to you po Asec, siguro po materials na puwedeng tingnan, I will also ask to forward to you ‘yong experiences din ng community rehab nila in Catanduanes, which I’ve heard has been very successful.

    So iyon lang po. I think along the way we will be able to develop a very good model.

    Pero while we’re doing it, nag-vovolunteer na po kami.

    Iyong puwedeng maumpisahan ngayon, umpisahan na natin.

    Maraming salamat po.

    Posted in Transcripts on Sep 06, 2016