Local government units urged to launch drug-free workplace, strengthen anti-drug abuse councils

November 18, 2018

CAMARINES Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte has called on all local government units (LGUs) to establish and strengthen their respective anti-drug abuse councils (ADACs) and carry out their respective drug-free workplace programs at the soonest, in step with President Duterte’s recently institutionalized Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy (PADS).

In keeping with Executive Order No. 66 signed by the President last October, Villafuerte said all national government agencies, government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) and state universities and colleges (SUCs) should similarly fast-track their own programs fleshing out the PADS.

“As we mark Drug Prevention and Control Week every third week of November, our LGUs can make this event more meaningful by launching their respective drug-free workplace programs and strengthening their ADACs or setting up one if they haven’t done so already,” said Villafuerte, a former Camarines Sur governor and vice chairman of the House local government committee.

“Such initiatives will certainly gain the support of their respective constituents, given that a clear majority of Filipinos, as shown by the latest survey results, continue to strongly back the President’s anti-drugs program,” he added.

Villafuerte cited the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted from Sept. 15 to 23, which showed 76 percent of 1,500 polled individuals satisfied with the war on drugs while only 12 percent were dissatisfied, resulting in a net satisfaction rating of +64.

The net satisfaction rating was in the “very good” range of the SWS rating system.

He noted that under EO No. 66, the President designated the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) as the lead agency in the implementation of this anti-drug strategy.

President Rodrigo  Duterte also directed the DDB, in consultation with concerned government entries and LGUs, to develop performance standards to ensure compliance of concerned agencies with PADS, he said.

“The PADS shall be continuously reviewed and studied by the DDB. For this purpose, all government entities shall submit to the DDB every month of February of each year, an Annual Report outlining or detailing accomplishments relative to their respective tasks, undertakings, programs and projects under the PADS,” the EO said.

Under the EO, the LGUs are also tasked to coordinate with the Department of Health (DOH) in managing and assessing those found to be using drugs in their respective localities.

Earlier, Villafuerte appealed to heads of LGUs to tap barangay health workers in the war against illegal drugs by training and equipping them with the knowledge needed to treat outpatient drug rehabilitation cases at the grassroots level.

The Camarines Sur lawmaker, who in 2016 filed a bill creating a drug rehabilitation center in his province’s municipality of Libmanan, said LGU officials have “an obligation and duty to their constituents to support the President’s relentless war against narco-traffickers and their cohorts in the government and the police force.”

Villafuerte said barangay officials can assist the national government in rehabilitating drug users by helping drug dependents who can be treated as outpatients.

He said “many drug rehabilitation cases can still be treated as outpatient cases.”