Press Briefing

Rehabinasyon with Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, and PCOO Assistant Secretary Mon Cualoping

Event Rehabinasyon
Location Malacañang Press Briefing Room, New Executive Building

ALVIN BALTAZAR/RADYO PILIPINAS: Good morning, MPC. Good morning PCOO Assistant Secretary Mon Cualoping. Good morning, sir.

ASEC. CUALOPING: Thank you, Alvin. To the members of the media, to our friends from social media, good morning; we are here once again for the second part of the REHABINASYON press briefing series. As promised a couple of weeks ago, with Secretary Duque here, with Secretary Año, Secretary Orogo and Secretary Cuy, we will have a series of briefings to dwell on the particulars of the rehabilitation and reintegration aspect of the war on drugs of the Philippine government.

And we are very privileged to have again here, the Health Secretary Francisco Duque III who will be discussing to us this morning about the rehabilitation and reintegration programs of the Health Department, as well as the particulars of the 155 Helpline that has been soft launched and will be fully launched in the next couple of weeks or months. Thank you.

Secretary Duque…

SEC. DUQUE: Thank you very much Asec. Mon; and good day everyone. And certainly I am privileged to present to you the rehabilitation agenda of the Duterte administration; and in particular, in the anti-illegal drug campaign of the Department of Health through the Formula 1 Plus approach boosting Universal Healthcare.

As a principal health agency of the Philippines, the Department of Health through the Dangerous Drugs Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program, has a primary goal of strengthening the prevention and treatment of substance abuse including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol. And this will be a key through the following: First, policy formulation and research; capacity building; service delivery networking and support to field offices; and last but not the least, regulation.

The following are existing policies supporting our drug rehabilitation program: Guidelines for community-based treatment and support services for persons who use drugs in primary healthcare setting of Administrative Order 2017-0018 and manual of operation for residential DATRCs [Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers]; and third, standard designs for residential TRCs [Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers]. These researches are currently being undertaken, and these are evaluation of DOH-DATRCs study on relapse prevention with JICA or the Japan International Cooperation Agency; and thirdly, the prevalent study with the Department of Education. And these will supplement current evidence-based practices available for the implementation of our drug rehabilitation program.

Some key capacity-building activities we have provided include, DOH-accredited physicians training, the mental health gap action program training, as well as the laboratory proficiency for screening drug testing laboratories.

On the service delivery aspect of our DATRCs, the yearly data from 2016 on the number of their admissions for in-patient and aftercare, as well as those who successfully completed the rehabilitation programs are illustrated: In total, there are 8,662 successful graduate residents as of July 2018. Also, there is a of 15 existing DOH-DATRCs with a total implementing bed capacity of 6,000; and as a measure to address the increasing number of clients and the lack of rehabilitation centers in some of our regions, DOH has 11 ongoing DATRC constructions with an estimated total bed capacity of 6,000 – most of which will be completed by the last quarter of 2019.

Currently, almost all of regions have at least one DATRC except for CAR, Region IV-B, Region IX, Region XI, Region XII and ARMM. And as you can see, only the Mega DATRC in Nueva Ecija has a huge bed capacity, and all others have an average of just hundred beds. This clearly illustrates how our facilities can only currently cater to a small, if not limited number of clients, and that more DATRCs should be present within the specific region.

Here, the DATRC in Malaybalay, Bukidnon as an example, as you can see on your screen… this is in Northern Mindanao, Wellness and Reintegration Center. This was recently inaugurated last August 3 and graced by none other than President Duterte. And this facility can cater for up to about 500 clients and includes a rehabilitation center, skills training center, sports center, as well as livelihood programs and capacity-building activities for recovering persons who used drugs. It is generously donated—rather, it was generously donated by Friends of the Philippines Foundation and UAA Kinming Group Development Corporation.

And as a measure to augment the current number of DATRCs in the country, 11 constructions in different regions are still underway, and where three of those are expected to be completed and operational before 2018 ends. All the other DATRCs are expected to be completed by the last quarter of 2019.

Now aside from our DATRCs, we also have our recovery facilities which can be a clinic or home. Let me just define them. Number one, a recovery clinic is a community-based outpatient treatment facility that will treat drug use patients who voluntarily enroll in the program for specialized consultations and evaluations. On the other hand, recovery homes are community-based residential facilities where persons suffering from mild to moderate drug dependence who cannot stably cope in their habitual environment and/or patients who cannot be fully managed in an outpatient setting and will enroll voluntarily in the program. Both recovery clinics and homes are currently on their pilot phases of implementation.

To note, constructions of these facilities are in coordination, agreement and initiative with respective local government units. Currently, there are 6 pilot recovery clinics and 3 pilot recovery homes in the country; and hopefully, with the support of the LGUs, more of these facilities will be established.

As a way to access the aforementioned services, DOH in collaboration with the Office of the President’s Special Projects established the Substance Abuse Helpline, and this offers free and confidential advice, information and support and referral for individuals and family members facing substance abuse disorders, as well as for the communities and general public using a variety of technology-based platforms.

Services include call and inform basic screening and refer. And as we speak, there are four agents available to receive calls from the clients between 8 am to 5 pm. And their call center is housed in the Department of Health, but for security reasons, it’s exact location, I’m sorry cannot be disclosed. And looking forward, DOH aims to have a total of 12 agents by 2019 and exploration of other technology-based platforms, such as mobile apps or SMS self-service options and website will also be taken into consideration to ensure a wider reach.

The approved short code for helpline is 155, which is available all over the Philippines. However, certain call charges are employed depending on your telephone or mobile company. But the DOH is looking for an arrangement where this will be made free of charge.

This is the social media card used in the dissemination and marketing of helpline. This includes the hotline 155 as well as other services that maybe linked to the substance abused queries, such as smoking cessation and mental health services, to emphasize the slogan “Talikuran ang Droga: Sa pagbabago mo may handang tumulong sa iyo”.

On the regulation aspect, the DOH currently has 53 licensed DATR center, both including residential and out-patient facilities as well as 1,484 drug-testing laboratories in the country.

To ensure efficiency of the rehabilitation programs, the DOH likewise develops strong partnerships and collaboration with other agencies though its members or rather through its memberships on the:

The inter-agency task force for the establishment and support of Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers or DATRCs, as well as Inter-agency Committee on Anti-illegal Drugs or ICAD, the Inter-agency Task Force for establishment and support of Drug Abused Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers was created through Executive Order no. 4, where its main objective is to provide effective mechanisms and measures to reintegrate into society individuals who have fallen victim to drug abuse or dangerous drug dependence through sustainable program of treatment and rehabilitation.

The Task force for you information is composed of seven agencies where the DOH is the Vice-chair together with the Dangerous Drug’s Board. Most importantly, all DATRCs established pursuant to this executive order are operated, maintained and managed by the DOH with support from all other member-agencies and LGUs.

Now, let’s go to the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs or more commonly referred to as ICAD. This was created through EO no. 15 — creation of an inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs and anti-illegal drugs task force to suppress the drug problem in the country, where the primary objective is to pursue an effective campaign against the trafficking and use of dangerous drugs and other similar substances through an integrated system of planning, implementation and enforcement of anti-illegal drug abuse policies, programs and projects.

The committee for your info is subdivided into four clusters. Namely, enforcement cluster, justice cluster, the advocacy cluster — where DOH is a member, and the rehabilitation and reintegration cluster where the DSWD is the chair with DOH as co-chair.

The Department Health additionally would not have accomplished so much in the campaign against illegal drugs if not for its external and international partners, such as the World Health Organization — there as you can see on the screen, the ASEAN, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the AusAid, the European Union and the government of the People’s Republic of China, to name just a few.

These partners enhanced our capabilities in addressing the drug problem through trainings, study tours, technical assistance and most importantly, their generous donations. And through the WHO and AusAid, the technical assistance for the establishment of recovery clinics was provided.

Also, the EU funded the Philippine Health Sector Reform Contract – Technical Assistance Program to the DOH has, since late 2016, actively supported the Tarlac Province in the establishment of its pilot recovery facility. So, mayroon na tayo sa Tarlac. They also provided technical assistance on the assessment of legal bases for voluntary programs of care and medical records privacy and confidentiality.

And they sponsored a tour, rather a study tour on meth amphetamine-use treatment options to the Czech Republic to identify best practices for the recovery clinics. And with the ASEAN, a regional cooperation through ASEAN Training Center for preventive drug education highlights preventive drug-education practices among ASEAN member states. And this is led by our very own University of the Philippines-Diliman, College of Education.

The government of the People’s Republic of China has generously donated 2 DATRCs, one in Alabel, Sarangani and another in San Francisco, Agusan Del Sur; both of which are expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2018 and first quarter of 2019 respectively. And while for the partnership with JICA, there are two specific activities being undertaken, the care project and the inter love. Care project or program for consolidated rehabilitation of illegal-drug users is a 3.5 year project with two objectives: First is to establish a drug-abused rehabilitation and treatment facility as well as upgrade existing facilities and second is to improve treatment interventions and reform policies for treatment.

Another important collaboration is through a technical cooperation under the project for introducing evidence-based relapse prevention programs to drug-dependents treatment and rehabilitation center and inter-love. This is a five-year program with the goal of establishing a relapse prevention model and a training program for nationwide dissemination.

Now, let’s go into the area of donations. There were—these were pledged by, number one, the Resorts World Philippines Cultural Heritage Foundation in Davao City. Second, is the Friends of the Philippine Foundation in Malaybalay, Bukidnon were we’ve shown you the pictures were none other than President Duterte himself together with the key officials of the administration joined him in the inauguration of the TRC in Malaybalay, Bukidnon.

There are two upcoming DATRC donations which include the Alliance Global Group in Camp Bagong Diwa Bicutan and second the Kausaban Foundation Incorporated in Cortes, Bohol.

Now in so far as the way forward is concerned, your DOH and Dangerous Drugs Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program envision to transition from a drug abuse… or dangerous drugs abuse and prevention treatment program to substance use disorder prevention and treatment program and ultimately into a bureau that will also help address not just drugs abuse but also alcohol abuse and also mental health services shall be provided. We will also expand services on for regional DATRCs and also recovery clinics and homes. Again, we need to enhance our capacities in this regard.

And also, there will be the approval and issuance of policies on community based programs and services as well as clinical practice guidelines and the importance of—or the clinical practice guidelines is for PhilHealth to be able to craft a benefit package that will target the substance abuse patients and so there will be a more sustained financing of the program.

So with all health programs and initiatives, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte through the DOH certainly aims to contribute towards a drug free community for Filipinos to thrive and live comfortably.

And together we call upon all of you, our friends from the media to help us in the successful implementation of all of our plans and programs. Thank you very much and again, good day.

KRIS JOSE/REMATE: Good morning, Sec.

SEC. DUQUE: Good morning.

KRIS JOSE/REMATE: Sir, update lang po doon sa mga drug dependents na makaka-avail o naka-avail na noong program na ito?

SEC. DUQUE: I have given you those that have availed – about 8,000—let me just go back to some of my notes here.

We have 8,662 who have successfully graduated from the various TRCs. Right now, our in-patients are totaling 8,826 for 2018, 17 and 16. This is the total and the aftercare beneficiaries total about 5,450 for the last three years.

KRIS/REMATE: Sir, iyong bilang na ito sir, saan iyong mas maraming bilang, iyong lugar saan mas maraming bilang ng mga drug dependents na tumawag po sa—para maka-avail ng program?

SEC. DUQUE: We have in Bataan… so the highest is in Bataan. The first as—using a metric which is percentage occupancy rate for the DOH, DATRCs, we have here Bataan 338 percent, followed by Cagayan de Oro at 300 percent and then we have in Bicutan 234 percent and we will give you a more detailed graphic presentation to show the percentage occupancy rate per DOH TRCs.

Q: Hi good morning sir. Sir, hingi lang po sana kami ng update. Kasi po based doon sa figures sa Real Numbers, there are more than hundred thousand drug personalities pero sabi ninyo po 8,000 lang po iyong nakapag-avail. Paano po iyong nangyari sa iba? May mga—sakop din po ba sila ng programs?

SEC. DUQUE: Okay. So the way it is, number one, there are actually 4 million estimated drug users. That’s what you are referring to ‘di ba? 4 million estimated drug users and there were about 1.3 million thereabouts surrenderers and there about 94 percent are users. But the situation on the ground, siyempre i-i-screen mo eh; iyong mga iba kasi you just have a more superficial assessment.

But when the assessment—more thorough assessment has been done of this, only .6 to 1 percent were assessed to be needing in-patient treatment and only between 2 and 10 percent needed outpatient treatment. And of course all the rest iyong 90 percent community based interventions. So hindi—iyong sinabi ko kanina na 8,000, ito iyong mga nag-graduate. Ito iyong mga nanirahan sa ating mga TRCs. Pero karamihan sa kanila, the biggest portion, really they are being manage on an outpatient and also community based interventions being provided to them.

ALVIN BALTAZAR/RADYO PILIPINAS: Follow up, Kathy? None? Secretary, doon sa 8,862 na graduates, ano iyong record natin doon sa age range meaning iyong pinakabata? Ano iyong—

SEC. DUQUE: We’ll just go get a data, that’s big granular already, kaya can I just have that… the age stratification. Anyway, we can give it later as Doctor Ivan S. Cartin, the program manager of the Dangerous Drugs Abuse Treatment and Prevention Program will provide.

ALVIN/RADYO PILIPINAS: Thank you, Secretary. MPC question?

ALVIN BALTAZAR/RADYO NG BAYAN: Sige, bago sa MPC, sir, follow up lang doon sa question na … sir, doon sa proposed 2019 budget, magkano iyong in-allot natin … ano iyong proposal natin sa 2019 budget ng DOH? Magkano iyong para sa rehab?

SEC. DUQUE: Okay, our budget is 1.156 billion for 2019 in the National Expenditure Plan, sa NEP. So this is a huge increase compared to the 818,349,000 last year.

ALVIN BALTAZAR/RADYO NG BAYAN: Just for rehab lang iyan, Secretary?



SEC. DUQUE: For rehab, that’s right. But of course, you cannot run the rehab with the PS and the MOOE and so the total, including capital outlay will be 1.156 billion. That’s a 41% increase over 2018 budget of 818 million.

PRINCE GOLEZ/PANAY NEWS: Hi, sir. Good morning. Sir, we’d just like to get your reaction regarding the Senate approval of the supplemental budget for Dengvaxia sir?

SEC. DUQUE: Well, we’re extremely gratified by the Senate’s action approving the Dengvaxia supplemental budget which is about 1.161 billion which the DOH successfully demanded from the Sanofi about three or four months ago, and was returned to the Bureau of Treasury but which needs approval by Congress — both House and the Senate. And you know, the House has approved this last month, and so finally we will be able to more confidently provide the necessary surveillance, monitoring and treatment, and interventions and hospitalization for whoever among the population of close to 900,000 Dengvaxia vaccinees will need those or such interventions.

So we’re very, very gratified. And thanks to the House and the Senate for their most positive decision to pass and approve this bill.

Q: Sir, speaking of Dengvaxia. Since rainy season po ngayon, nag-increase po ba iyong cases ng Dengvaxia vaccine case?
SEC. DUQUE: It’s almost the same compared to last year. But I don’t have the data right now. I’m not prepared to give you, but we can give you later on. I will just instruct my assistant, executive assistant, to go get the latest data on dengue.

But as usual, you know, dengue, number one, has no treatment. There’s no medication for dengue, and so it is largely a community effort to comply with the DOH four S preventive measures: Search and destroy; and then, Seek early consultation, to me, which is probably the most important when the symptoms of dengue arise.

Parents must not have second thoughts about bringing them to the nearest health facility. Huwag po nating kalimutan, iyan pong … kailangan magpatingin na kaagad sa simula’t simula pa lang na magkaroon na ng sintomas ng lagnat, 38 degrees centigrade for more than two days, at mga iba pa pong mga karamdaman ay dapat po ito ay kaagaran na pumunta na at magpatingin sa pinakamalapit na pagamutan.

Pangatlo is the Self-protective measures. So, the application of insect repellants, the wearing of protective long sleeves and long pants and avoiding dark-colored outfits, shorts and pants, because that’s what attracts mosquitoes.

And of course, Say yes to selective fogging in areas, kung saan na po mayroong patunay na mayroon na pong epidemya or outbreak ng dengue sa inyo pong mga komunidad.

Q: Sir, hindi po ba puwede nang mag-fogging na sa isang community kahit wala pa pong dengue case?

SEC. DUQUE: Unang-una, kung gagawin mo naman iyon ay sayang. At pangalawa, siyempre kahit na papaano ay mayroon ding environmental impact itong mga gagamitin na pausok. So we will have to be very, very careful and very selective in so far as application or the conduct of fogging is concerned at the local level.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, kalian na po magsisimula iyong probe ng Asian panel of experts sa Dengvaxia controversy or cases?

SEC. DUQUE: Mabuti tinanong mo iyan, kasi tinanong ko rin iyan kanina sa office ni ES. And baka pagdating ay mailabas na natin iyong desisyon ng OP patungkol sa pagbubuo ng panel of experts na manggagaling mostly from the ASEAN countries. Where, also as part of the presidential directive, is those members of the panel, the experts, must come from the countries where the Dengvaxia immunization program was also implemented.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Pero may listahan na po ng mga pangalan?

SEC. DUQUE: Mayroon na, mayroon na po.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: So ilan po sila doon, sir?

SEC. DUQUE: Alam ko parang apat iyong nasa listahan.


SEC. DUQUE: Ang makakapunta?


SEC. DUQUE: Mga tatlo should be good enough. Usually, it should be odd number para kung may stalemate, at least—kasi kung even, magkakaproblema, baka mag-order ka na naman ng panibagong member. Kumuha ka na lang ng panibagong member eh gawin na nating tatlo, parang [unclear]

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: May timeline po ba tayo sa probe na ito? Like, how long will this take?

SEC. DUQUE: Well, as soon as possible. These are experts. They have the technical proficiency to study, to review all the documents and to put together a report.


ALVIN BALTAZAR/RADYO NG BAYAN: MPC, questions? If there are none, thank you so much. Assistant Secretary Mon Cualoping, thank you.


Source: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Center)