MANILA – Over 780,000 individuals have so far availed of community-based wellness and recovery programs for drug surrenderers as part of the government’s holistic approach to the illegal drug problem, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said on Monday night.
“Nakikita po natin noong 2017 ay 149,000 lang po ang nag-a-avail ng community-based drug rehabilitation program. By 2021, second quarter, nakita po natin 783,005 ang nag-avail ng community-based drug rehabilitation program at masasabi natin po ang mga kababayan nating ito ay lubusan na pong gumaling (We saw that in 2017, there were only 149,000 who availed of the community-based drug rehabilitation programs. By the second quarter 2021, we saw that 783,005 availed of the community-based drug rehabilitation program and we can tell that our countrymen had fully recovered),’’ Año told President Rodrigo Duterte during his Talk to the People.
Año noted that the number of existing Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers has also increased to 22 this year, from only 13 in 2016.
At the same time, he reported that 63,758 individuals have enrolled in these centers as of this year and have fully recovered from drug addiction, from only 10,633 in 2016.
“Kaya pinapatunayan lang po natin na hindi lamang tayo masigasig sa operations against illegal drugs kundi pati rin po sa pagre-rehabilitate ng ating mga kababayan (That is why we have just proven that we are not merely enthusiastic in the operations against illegal drugs but also in rehabilitating our people),’’ the Interior Secretary stressed.
He also said among the Anti-Drug Abuse Councils across the country’s 81 provinces, 22 are highly functional, 53 are moderately functional and six are low functional.
“On average, we have a 70.07 functionality grade among our local government units (LGUs),” he added.
Año, meanwhile, said authorities conducted 710 anti-illegal drug operations which resulted in the arrest of 1,025 suspects from October 3 to 9.
In the same period, 14 drug suspects surrendered and one was killed during the drug busts.
Año reported that the week-long operations yielded PHP35,666,243 worth of shabu and marijuana.
Cash aid payout
In the same briefing, Año said that the cash aid distribution in Bataan is set to be completed within the week.
Bataan has so far disbursed 98.6 percent of a total of ⁴PHP698.3 million aid funds for low-income beneficiaries affected by the recent enhanced community quarantine.
Previously, Metro Manila and Laguna have finished disbursing aid funds.
Meanwhile, Año warned LGU personnel to ensure proper handling of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines to prevent spoilage.
“Nagpalabas po tayo ng (memorandum circular) sa ating mga LGUs, ang subject po ay timely distribution and administration of available vaccines, prevention of vaccine wastage and increasing public information and acceptance of Covid-19 vaccines (We released a memorandum circular to the LGUs with the subject of the timely distribution and administration of available vaccines, prevention of vaccine wastage and increasing public information and acceptance of Covid-19 vaccines),’’ said Año.
He noted that this memorandum circular was issued in support of the national vaccination program headed by Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.
The DILG chief maintained that vaccine doses received by the provincial and city governments should be distributed by the LGUs between 15 to 30 days from the time of their delivery which also must be injected within three days.
As of Monday, National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19’s sub-task group on current operations chief Assistant Secretary Wilben Mayor said a total of 87 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have arrived in the country, while 23 million individuals are already fully vaccinated. (PNA)