Press Briefing

Rehabinasyon with Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Dangerous Drugs Board Secretary Catalino Cuy, Department Of Social Welfare And Development Acting Secretary Virginia Orogo, Department of the Interior and Local Government Officer-In-Charge Eduardo Año and PCOO Assistant Secretary Mon Cualoping

Event Rehabinasyon Press Briefing
Location Malacañang Press Briefing Room, New Executive Building, Malacanang, Manila

ALVIN BALTAZAR/RADYO PILIPINAS: Good afternoon MPC, welcome sa second batch ng ating press briefing for this day. To introduce our guests, let us all welcome PCOO Assistant Secretary Mon Cualoping.

ASEC. CUALOPING: Good afternoon to our partners and our friends from media, and the partners of Rehabinasyon. On behalf of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, this is the first of a series of media conference and dialogue and engagement with our partners for Rehabinasyon.

Rehabinasyon, just a quick overview, is the all-encompassing communications program of the government to integrate the program against illegal drugs of the Duterte administration. This is a priority project under the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs which is a creation of Executive Order No. 15 of President Duterte signed in March 2017. The PCOO is a member of the ICAD which is chaired by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, as well as 40 government agencies.

Amongst them are our partners who are on this table today, this afternoon – from the Department of Health, Secretary Duque; from the Dangerous Drugs Board, Chairman Cuy; from the DILG, OIC-Secretary Año; and from DSWD, Secretary Orogo.

We would just like to emphasize as well, PCOO has been doing Real Numbers together with the enforcement agencies of the government. But to contrast Rehabinasyon – Rehabinasyon is a whole of government approach in terms of not just enforcement, but more so on rehabilitation and reintegration; as well as the mechanisms being employed by various agencies to advocate the vision of the President – which is to have a drug-free Philippines hopefully by 2022 and to have a comfortable life for all Filipinos.

So before I turnover the mic to our guests, to the Secretaries, we’d like to show you quick and swipe video of what Rehabinasyon has done for the past a year and a half, and the things moving forward. [VIDEO PRESENTATION]

Now we go to the opening statements of our esteemed secretaries. We begin first with the Chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board, Secretary Catalino Cuy.

SEC. CUY: Thank you very much, Mon. Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon to all of you. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to provide you information on the national campaign against illegal drugs.

The Dangerous Drugs Board continues to formulate policies and programs that will respond to the current drug abuse situation. To address the issues and challenges confronting the anti-drug campaign, the Philippine Anti-Drug Strategy known as PADS, has been developed to set forth a comprehensive and balanced approach to drug demand and supply reduction – this is stands as our framework of action.

The Philippine Anti-Illegal Drug Strategy is a cohesive, comprehensive and balanced strategy aligned with international and regional frameworks to be undertaken by the government in addressing the country’s drug abuse problem. It is aligned with President Duterte’s priorities and is anchored on the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022. Sub-goal of ensuring security, public order and safety which indicates that the national anti-illegal drugs strategy includes suppressing the flow of illegal drugs supply through sustained law enforcement operations and reducing consumer demand for drugs and other substances through drug rehabilitation and massive preventive education and awareness programs.

By 2022, the Philippines will be able to achieve drug-free communities through supply reduction efforts, involving strong law enforcement with consistent adherence to and observance of human rights coupled with comprehensive demand reduction initiative and supported by strong international ties. This strategy provides an extensive framework for law enforcement and penalties for violations, while at the same time adopts a compassionate approach to victims of drug use by encouraging voluntary treatment and rehabilitation under an overarching framework which emphasizes respect for human rights.

To effectively carry out this task, the Dangerous Drugs Board has identified priority areas to work on in reducing the supply and demand for drugs. Crosscutting concern also have been identified and prioritized.

On supply reduction; we are prioritizing efforts to sustain cooperation with regional and international counterparts, intensify interdiction and barangay drug-clearing operations, strengthened the criminal justice system and policies against drug smuggling. These efforts are expected to result in legislations, policies and programs that are informed by evidence and best practices of partners. Local government units and communities becoming more vigilant in reporting drug offenses, increase in prosecution and conviction of drug offenders and improvement in seizures in seaports and airports.

On demand reduction, we want to ensure that communities have access to appropriate and responsive community-based interventions and aftercare program, strengthen capacity of policymakers and preventive education practitioners and provide access to various drug prevention services and programs in workplace and institutions of learning.

In order to establish a coordinated and integrated mechanism in implementing the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 15 on March 6, 2017 which created the inter-agency committee or ICAD chaired by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. This body was tasked to ensure an integrated and unified planning, implementation and enforcement of all anti-drug abuse policies, programs and projects in all branches of the government.

The ICAD operates using the barangay drug clearing program as the main strategy framework. Thus, the various roles of the ICAD members come into play in the context of different barangay drug clearing program phases. In general, the ICAD acts as a manager to ensure that the government’s anti-drug program is successfully implemented on the ground. The PADS framework is represented by a ‘bow and arrow’ – this defines the two components of the anti-drug strategy: the drug supply reduction and the drug demand reduction; aimed at a target board, representing the goal of a 100% drug free Philippines by 2022.

The Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy is a testament to our commitment to implement holistic and balanced approach in addressing the country’s problems on illegal drugs. Strategies are aimed at consensus-building, wherein people recognize the drug problem and are encouraged to be part of the solution. Strengthening the rule of law, promoting sustainable alternative development programs and ensuring regulatory compliance are also part of the strategy, along with instituting responsive advocacy programs that are then shared to regional and international counterparts. On top of finalizing the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy, the Dangerous Drugs Board has also strengthened the conduct of anti-drug campaign in a community level.

Allow me to give some updates on the relevant policies issued by the Board. Board Regulation No. 4, Series 2016 provides guidelines on voluntary surrender of drug users and dependents, and monitoring mechanism of barangay anti-drug abuse campaigns. This mandated the local government units to ensure that drug users will be provided with appropriate interventions through establishment of community-based treatment and rehabilitation program and services.

Second, is the Board Resolution # 3, series of 2017 or Strengthening the Implementation of Barangay Drug Clearing Programs – mandated the local government official to take the lead in freeing their communities from the influence of drugs through the conduct of both supply and demand reduction programs.

In addition to policies addressed to strengthen the conduct of barangay drug clearing operations, the DDB also looks forward to strengthen the drug-free work place program. Among the salient provisions are: the random drug-testing requirements, the person accountable to administer the drug testing procedures, the duty bearers who will implement the drug-free work place policy at the local government unit level, the required due process for those who found positive for drug testing and the disciplining authority on cases related to illegal drugs violations.

If you will notice, our recent policies involved the participation of the local government as the DDB, believes that the most effective programs are the ones that emanate from community, carried out by the community, for the community. With this, we continue to place communities at the center of all our anti-drug efforts.

As the drug issue continues to threaten the stability of Philippine economy and security, we hereby call to action all Filipino families, youth groups, institutions, mass media, business communities, faith-based organization, education and health sectors, legislators and civil society to be pro-active in participating to drug prevention and control programs and initiative. Thank you.

ASEC. CUALOPING: Thank you, Secretary Cuy. Now we go to Health Secretary Duque.

SEC. DUQUE: Thank you very much, Asec. Mon of the PCOO. The honorable Chairperson of the Dangerous Drugs Board, Secretary Ed Año of DILG, and also Secretary of DSWD, Virginia Orogo, and to all our media representatives, a pleasant afternoon to each one of you. In behalf of the Department of Health, I’m certainly privileged to present to you the updates and programs of the DOH on the government’s balanced approach towards addressing the scourge of illegal drugs and its ill-effects upon our society through our FOURmula ONE plus for health approach.

On the screen are the yearly data from 2016 on the number of admissions of our drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation centers for in patient and after care, as well as those who successfully completed their rehabilitation programs.

As of December 31, 3027, there is a total of 53 license and accredited drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation centers in the Philippines. These include residential and out-patient facilities where 15 of those are government-owned with an implementing bed capacity of 6,000.

And as a measure to address the increasing number of clients, 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, and this will hopefully help address the lack of rehabilitations centers in our region.

There are 15 DOH TRCs and almost all regions have at least one DATRC, except for CAR, Region IV-B, Regions IX, XI, XII and ARMM. And only the mega DATRC in Nueva Ecija has a huge bed capacity of roughly 2,500 and all others have an average of 100 beds. This shows that our facilities can only currently cater to a small number of clients.

Aside from our DATRCs, we have recovery facilities which are either a clinic or home. And a recovery clinic is community-based out-patient treatment facility that will treat drug use patients who voluntarily enroll in the program for specialized consultations and evacuations or evaluations.

On the other hand, recovery homes are community-based residential facilities for person suffering from mild to moderate drug dependence who cannot consistently cope in their habitual environment and/or patients who cannot be fully managed in an out-patient setting and will enroll voluntarily in the program.

Both recovery clinics and homes are currently on their pilot phase of implementation. And to note, constructions of these facilities are in coordination, agreement and initiative with respective local government units. Currently, there are six pilot recovery clinics and three pilot recovery homes in the country. And hopefully, with the support of the LGUs, more of these facilities will be established.

This and the next slide will show the algorithm on the client flow of wellness and recovery from substance-related issues. This was created to guide all stakeholders in the implementation of the drug rehabilitation program of the government. It begins form community preparation up to after-care where clients are prepared to be reintegrated to the society.

On the part of the DOH, we have provided capacity building activities and policy initiatives in every step of the said algorithm. Majority steps include community preparation, screening, assessment, then drug abuse treatment, seminar workshop for clients and the family. Different treatment interventions are employed within the client flow. Each of them would entail tailored-fit interventions for the client. And depending on their severity or of dependence, they will either undergo general interventions, community-based treatment and rehabilitation, health facility based out-patient treatment and rehabilitation or patient treatment and rehabilitation.

After receiving a proper treatment, they will undergo after-care and community re-integration programs to prepare clients to be reintegrated to the society.

The first way a client can get help from the government is through the hotline of the Dangerous Drugs Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program of the DOH by dialing the 711-0781. Dedicated personnel of the program would gladly assist and refer to the client on how to properly access these services, one of which is the admission to a DATRC.

First, the client should file for voluntary admission to the Dangerous Drugs Board, and then they will refer client to the court. And then the court would then order the client to undergo screening and assessment by a DOH accredited physician. Consequently, the client would undergo routine medical and laboratory examinations. Once results are available, the DOH accredited physician recommends a proper treatment to the court, and then the court then orders the client to a DATRC.

Generally, the cost of admitting or the cost of being admitted to a government operated DATRC is approximately 8,000 to about 10,000 pesos depending on the client’s classification as determined by the social welfare officer. More importantly, admission is free for indigents.

Another way of getting help is through our hotline which is a project initiated and coordinated by the Office of the President, special projects to cater to actual situations at the ground level on the need to provide immediate services to Filipinos. It offers free and confidential advice, information, and support and referral for individuals and family members who are facing substance abuse disorders, as well as for the communities and general public using a variety of technology-based platforms. And of course, services would include call and inform basic screening and refer.

And lastly, here is the helpline 155. Kaya, ating talikuran ang droga dahil sa iyong pagbabago may handang tumulong sa iyo. Muli, isang magandang hapon sa inyong lahat sa ngalan ng buong Department of Health.

DILG-OIC AÑO: Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.

In line with the present administration’s vigorous campaign against the proliferation of illegal drugs use and the extension of assistance for the indentified drug user’s rehabilitation and reintegration to the society, the department has strengthened the creation and organization of Anti-Drug Abuse Councils or ADACs in every province, city, municipality and barangays to ensure the active participation of all local government units in the said campaign.

I am pleased to present the following updates from the DILG: On the accomplishment of ADACs after the passage of the DDB and the DILG Joint Memorandum Circular 2018-01, which provides a comprehensive guidance and the functionality of the Anti-Drug Abuse Council and Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council or BADAC. The pertinent parts of the JMC are as follows: Compelling the provinces, cities and municipalities to provide financial and technical support to the BADACs; Issued functionality indicators to determine the degree of functionality of all ADACs at all levels; Prescribe the roles and functions of each stakeholders to increase their respective accountability and bolster the inter-operability of all levels of ADACs.

As of the first quarter this year, 15 remaining barangays from the National Capital Region and Bicol Region have not yet organized their BADACs. As a result, the DILG filed administrative cases for dereliction of duty and misconduct of office before the Office of the Ombudsman against the erring Punong Barangays. As of 25 June 2018, 42,029 out of 42,044 barangays or 99.96% have organized their BADACs.

On the interventions of the government in strengthening Anti-Drug Abuse Councils – From May 2018 to July 2018, we have completed 5 trainings for regional focal persons of the DILG to discuss the mode of assessing the functionality and effectiveness of local ADACs and BADACs together with several member-agencies of the ICAD Advocacy Cluster. The first leg of training was held at Bantay, Ilocos Sur last May 28 to June 1, 2018 covering Regions I, II, III and Cordillera. The second one was held at Naga, Camarines Sur, this time with participants coming from Region 4-A, MIMAROPA, Region V and NCR last June 4-8, 2018. On June 25-29, 2018, the training was held at Davao City with attendees from Regions XI, XII and XIII. The fourth and final leg of the training were held at Cebu and Cagayan De Oro, with DILG focal persons from Regions VI, VII and VIII; and IX, X and ARMM respectively.

On the sanctions stipulated in the law of non-performing ADACs – The DILG upholds sanctions stipulated in the law for non-performing ADACs.

On addressing the welfare of voluntary surrenderees and actions being taken after they have surrendered to proper authorities – Cognizant of the foreseen need to cater the increased number of voluntary drugs surrenderers in each barangay, the JMC has included as one of its indicators of a functional BADAC, the presence of a CSAR plan or Community Support and After-care Rehabilitation Plan and the establishment of community-based rehabilitation program.

On the efforts of the government to support the sustainability of strengthening Anti-Drug Abuse Councils – Currently, the Department is conducting a nationwide rollout training to disseminate the provisions of Joint Memo Circular 2018-01 and orient local government units on the functionality and performance indicators of local ADACs. The Department, through the ADAC Project Management Office, in coordination with PDEA, will also be conducting a reorientation of the Regional Oversight Committee for an expedient and clearer drug-clearing process on August 16-17, 2018 which will cover all stakeholders from Luzon; and on August 23-24, 2018 for the stakeholders in Visayas and Mindanao.

Rest assured that DILG is committed to the whole of government approach as we move towards President Duterte’s vision of a comfortable life for all Filipinos. Maraming salamat.

SEC. OROGO: Thank you for the opportunity to call us together, so that we can inform everybody, the government’s effort in addressing the country’s gamut of problem related to illegal drugs.

In support of the Duterte administration’s fight against the destructive effects of illegal drugs and substance, the Department of Social Welfare and Development as member of the Interagency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs is initiating efforts to help former drug dependents including street children involve in substance abuse to renew their lives and be productive members of the society. We have two approaches: one is a ‘Silungan sa Barangay’ – this is a preventive approach specifically to save or prevent our street children from becoming user or pushers.

We at the DSWD recognized the plight of our street children and families as such, with some of them reportedly using substances like rugby to get through each day. To help them, we have been working closely with different national government agencies, non-government organizations and local government units for the implementation of our ‘Silungan sa Barangay’ project. Silungan sa Barangay is a temporary home, learning center, vocational school and livelihood center for children and families at risk on the streets.

Further, it is a meeting place of children where they can share and exchange their stories; a place where they feel safe and where they can meet other people for socialization, skills development. It is also a venue to refer children and families for long term housing solutions, community reintegration and alternative parental care. A team headed by a social worker and composed of barangay staff, volunteers and other stakeholders shall also provide time-bound case management to the children and their families.

The Silungan will serve as a venue to converge with partners for existing holistic services for the street children and their families. Through the convergence of all duty-bearers and stakeholders, we will provide temporary shelter and extend services on health and nutrition, education and values formation and other developmental activities. We also provide psycho-social support, case management and skills development trainings and various livelihood services.

Currently, the DSWD together with other duty-bearers is reviewing and polishing the framework of this initiative to be more responsive to the needs of street children and those involved in substance abuse. Another approach – Silungan sa Barangay is part of this ‘Yakap Bayan’ framework – a holistic reintegration approach to development for drug surrenderees and his family and community. For drug surrenderees, the DSWD is also reviewing and enhancing the framework of Yakap Bayan, an inter-agency collaborative framework designed to provide rehabilitation, after-care, transformation and reintegration support for recovering drug dependents.

Yakap Bayan is a holistic integration approach towards total development of drug surrenderees. It emphasizes the provision of continues case management for surrenderees and their families and communities. The framework includes a rehabilitative process that starts with the provision of psycho-social and medical interventions such as debriefing, counseling and other health-related assistance, comprehensive needs-assessment of drug surrenderees and productivity optimization which involves the provision of livelihood and skills training, education and entrepreneurship. The rehabilitative process also includes the provision of gainful employment and other income-generating opportunities to former drug dependents and integrating them back to their communities.

On the family and community side, the framework includes support systems, identification for drugs surrenderees, the strengthening of linkages with the church and other networks, ensuring the availability of social safety nets and empowerment and capacity-building which all leads to community participation. Yakap Bayan aims to capacitate drug surrenderees to be productive leaders and members of their communities, thereby facilitating their early mainstreaming in the society.

We at the DSW work doubly hard to extend programs and services to our drug surrenderees and street children who need their kalinga and pagmamahal. We also continue to reach out to other vulnerable sectors of our society in order to provide them with appropriate assistance and intervention.

Alone we can only do so much, but together as one family, we can do everything. I appeal that during the community integration of our dear brothers and sisters who are facing new life and entering back to the mainstream society that we support the victim himself and the family of the victims. Let them feel their belongingness. DSWD will always be there to give them kalinga at pagmamahal.

Marami pong salamat.

ASEC. CUALOPING: Thank you, Secretaries. MPC, questions?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: My question is addressed to Secretary Cuy or Secretary Año. Yesterday, the President said that Naga was hotbed of shabu. Do we have any data to support that claim, sir?

DILG-OIC AÑO: Yes, the President mentioned that because, still there are persistent reports of drug trafficking and drug operation in Naga, actually, along with Cebu. So that means to say that we are actually directing our effort and focus to conduct anti-drug operations in Region V. And this shall be, of course, through the enforcement cluster wherein we have this task force to conduct this operation.

Well, we are conducting the operations nationwide. But with the development of course, we have to focus more resources in the area.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, in tangible terms, papaano po iyong description ni President na hotbed of shabu, ano po iyong situation on the ground, especially in Naga City which he mentioned yesterday? And in comparing to other cities, you mentioned Cebu, any other place, maybe top five problematic cities that we have?

DILG-OIC AÑO: Well, ito iyong tinatawag nating, una: iyong persistence of reports. And then secondly, kina-classify natin iyan because the effort that we should apply in this region should be more than what we are applying in other regions. Base talaga iyan sa mga reports na dumating. I can only speak for the Philippine National Police, and I can see in the daily reports that there are indeed a lot of activities there involving drugs.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, sorry to push the subject further ‘no. When you said persistence of reports, what kind of reports are these, sir?

DILG-OIC AÑO: Well, ito iyong mga reports ng – kasama iyong drug rehabilitation ng barangay at saka iyong mga daily raw reports na nanggagaling sa ating iba’t ibang police units in the region. Nagta-tally kasi eh; everyday kasi mayroon kaming tinatawag na situation monitoring report from the operation center. So ito, kinu-collate ito ng ating PDEG, and from there, sina-submit namin natin sa enforcement cluster especially PDEA. And then from there, the PDEA submits its report to the President.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Will the DDB if any, have data on Naga?

SEC. CUY: Iyong information na iyan, per PDEA for validation iyong info na iyan. And another possible indications for that information, is iyong percentage ng barangay affectation in certain areas. So these are the ones being considered.

This is also true to other areas. There is a parang reported noticeable resurgence of drugs in some areas na formerly cleared na but then nagbabalik. So this is the tendency of this particular problem, kapag medyo nagkaroon ng slack in operations, there is a tendency for this problem to make a resurgence. So that’s why continuous vigilance on the part of the law enforcement as well as the public is very necessary.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Could we have sir, the data on the barangay affectation with regard to just Naga City because that’s what the President mentioned?

SEC. CUY: We don’t have it right now.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Secretary Cuy; but you mentioned that the information is still up for validation sa PDEA, regarding Naga. So why would the President outright say that it is a hotbed?

SEC. CUY: Hindi, iyong mga ganoong ano, iyong ganoong mga information, for validation iyon – continuous validation. And if may makitang probability, then that will be for case building up.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: And right now, wala pang … it’s not validated, is that right?

DILG-OIC AÑO: Remember that the President has his own sources. And these sources, ishini-share niya dito sa mga law enforcement group. Iyong sinabi niyang statement, there are basis for that. So iyong validation will continue with that information plus iyong sa mga hold-ins namin, so iku-continue iyong validation niyan.

Now, isa ring factor diyan, remember, naglabas tayo ng drug affectation last year, so tinitingnan din natin kung gaano kabilis iyong clearing sa iba’t ibang areas. For example, in Zamboanga City before, talagang ang laki ng kaniyang drug affectation doon. Pero immediately, ang bilis din ng kanilang pag-clear. So iyong ibang areas na naging stagnant at hindi nag-move at nadagdagan pa, so iyon iyong isa sa mga basis na sinasabi natin.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: This is for both Secretary Cuy and OIC Año. I’d just like to get your thoughts on the President’s pronouncements also yesterday expressing frustration that despite all his efforts to combat illegal drugs, the problem seems to be getting worst. He talked about transactions ballooning from millions of pesos to billions of pesos. So what can you say about that?

DILG-OIC AÑO: Sandali, drugs ba iyan o corruption?


DILG-OIC AÑO: Well, sa drugs talaga ‘no, even before this administration napakalaki ng problema ng country natin sa drugs. Nakita lang natin ito noong nagsimula na ng relentless effort at nagkaroon ng – remember, 1.2 million surrenderees, so lahat tayo nagising. Siguro kayo, you will admit na ganyan ba kalaki?

Now, you cannot do this overnight and you know, finish this problem; and even siguro one year or two years – kaya nga sabi nga natin, baka hanggang 2022 ay matapos natin ito. And it entails support of everybody.

Hindi ito lumaki eh; na-discover lang natin na ganito pala ito kalaki. And with the, what we call the real numbers, that we have presented to you, nakita naman natin iyong mga accomplishments natin at nasu-sustain natin. So we cannot say tapos na ito, but still more jobs to do, more work to do.

SEC. CUY: To continue ‘no, tama iyong nabanggit ni SILG. Everybody was surprised doon sa figure na lumabas – 1.3 na yata halos eh, 1.3 million. So the government agencies, line agencies involved were overwhelmed with the numbers; hindi naman natin puwedeng hulihin iyan, wala tayong paglalagyan niyan. Even then, overcrowded na, congested na ang ating mga jails. And the rehabilitation centers both government and government-accredited were not enough – about 6,000 lang iyong bed capacity – so, dito nga nag-came up iyong idea ng community-based rehabilitation program.

Given the situation, the limited resources and the number of individuals involved, we saw na this is the doable and practical way to approach itong situation, so community-based rehabilitation program, giving the local government units the responsibility and a big task to help ma-rehabilitate itong mga individuals na ito. And dito ngayon papasok iyong mga different agencies – whole of nation ang approach natin, kasi nga ang—if you will—based on the interviews and feedback from those who surrendered, ang main reason nila for being engaged in illegal drugs is economics – livelihood.

So kaya nga minsan, even if there are ino-offer na mga alternative livelihood, kapag kino-compare nila iyong proceeds noong—from illegal drugs to their legitimate alternative livelihood, nate-tempt pa rin sila to engage in drugs. So this is ano eh, this is a big challenge for the government, lalo na doon sa mga duty-bearers and this is where the public and other—and all sectors’ support and cooperation are very much needed.

DILG-OIC AÑO: Our congestion now in jail is 600%. Ibig sabihin, sa isang tao na—isang selda na pang-isang tao, anim ang nakakulong. We have about 111,000 PDLs – Person Deprived of Liberty or detainee. Seventy thousand of those cases are drug-related, so iyong campaign natin talagang ang daming nahuli, nakakulong sila…

Now, if you look at the figure now or the stats… sa drive natin against drugs, ang result is there is a 21% reduction of the crime volume if we compare the period this year and last year. So that is a direct result of our successful campaign against drugs. Hindi pa natin fully, but malaki iyong relation niya talaga sa commission ng crime.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.: Last from me, sir. If the President ends up stepping down as he said he wants to do because he’s so frustrated. Number one, do you think he’s serious about this? And number two, how will his – if ever – stepping down affect your anti-drug campaign?

DILG-OIC AÑO: I’m not in the position to determine whether what he’s saying is serious or not. But there is actually a constitutional provision for everything, and I believe our vigor and energy in fighting drugs come from his leadership. And hindi siguro mangyayari itong lahat na ito kung hindi dahil sa kaniyang sincerity at sa kaniyang conviction to fight drugs. But well, we hope that the President will [laughs]… finish his term because there are so much work to do.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Secretary Año, magandang hapon po. Kung ilalagay natin sa pigura, sa figure iyong lala ng problema bago kayo naupo, bago pumasok ang Duterte administration, gaano kalala noon at gaano na po nabago ngayon?

DILG-OIC AÑO: Well katulad nga noong sinabi ko kanina, nagkaroon tayo ng… iyong decrease ng crime volume ng 21%. And then based on the survey also, people feel safer now than before. So masasabi natin na even we do not base on the figures, malaki iyong epekto sa safety ng ating mga tao sa community. They feel safer even going home late, malaking convenience at confidence sa kanila.

Before the Duterte administration, hindi kasi ganito masyado iyong talagang focus sa anti-drug operation. I was a member of the Armed Forces before this administration, kahit noong time na iyon hindi nata-tap iyong Armed Forces sa operation against drugs. Unlike during the Duterte administration, the Armed Forces is also part of the enforcement cluster as a support to the PNP and the PDEA. So this time, I think everyone is aware that every—the whole country is involved in the fight against drugs.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Sa kabila po ng inyong mahigpit na kampanya laban sa droga, tila hindi ho natatakot itong mga sindikatong ito na dalawang beses nang nagpasok ng malalaking bulto at halaga ng shabu dito po sa ating bansa. First it was 6.4 and then the latest is 6.8 billion. Nasaan ho ang pagkukulang, sinong may problema, Secretary Año?

DILG-OIC AÑO: Well unang-una, iyong sa… I don’t want to dwell on the 6.4 billion kasi there is an ongoing Congressional hearing on that. But on the supply part, alam ninyo itong drug trade is international. So talagang palaging mayroong nagpo-produce at mayroon ding demand, so kahit mahuli natin sila, tuluy-tuluy pa rin iyan because it’s a big business ‘no. It’s like one big giant corporation and they have clients everywhere they have to supply, but malaki na iyong dent na nagawa natin. In fact many of the drug lords are either in jail or are in hiding, and we continue the operation to find and track these big drug lords or drug syndicates.

So ito iyong mga success na ito, it’s not a guarantee that they will stop immediately or right away. Hanggang sa kaya nilang lumusot, lulusot sila eh. Sa laki ng archipelago natin, at kung iyong mga drugs ay nanggagaling sa ibang country, they can still find a way how to ship the drugs to our country. Kasi either iyong kanilang customer ay nandito or iyong iba naman ay transshipment tayo na ginagawa papunta sa ibang countries.

But the enforcement group, the intelligence community will continue to do their job until we are able to, not only get them but say impress, put an impression upon these drug syndicates that it is a lot harder to use the Philippines or ship their drugs into our country.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Secretary Cuy, as a policy-making body ho nitong anti-drug campaign ng Duterte administration, anong rekomendasyon ninyo para hindi na po makapasok itong bulto-bultong shabu sa bansa?

SEC. CUY: Unang-una, iyong illegal drugs is a transnational crime iyan eh; and just like other transnational crime, it doesn’t follow boundaries, iyong national boundaries. And just like any other commodities, parang ano iyan eh, iyong sa free trade natin, madaling i-transport iyang mga iyon eh. Pati na rin iyong technology natin sa mga online—mga ganiyan… sumasama iyan sa other merchandise and commodities na going around the different countries.

And iyong mga apprehensions na iyan, mga discovery na ganiyan, mga interception ng mga drugs na iyan, dalawa ‘yan eh: it’s either mas maraming droga ngayon or mas maraming nahuhuli. So it doesn’t follow na maraming nare-report na confiscation or apprehension na mas malala ‘no. Kung minsan kapag kokonti iyong reported apprehension or arrest, either na walang nagre-report or walang nahuhuli.

So at present, because of the public awareness… dahil doon sa mga pronouncement ng government, ng ating mga government official, the public are more aware now on the presence of telltale signs of laboratories—shabu laboratories. That’s why per report of our law enforcement agencies, most or almost all of the substances confiscated or discovered are already finished products. Because, for the syndicate, for the groups… it is much harder now to maintain laboratories kasi aware na iyong mga tao eh, and they can easily—they are now conscious of their role as a community – iyong awareness.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Opo, so ano po ang inyong rekomendasyon, sir?

SEC. CUY: Well ano eh, we have two main pillars sa ating strategy: iyon nga, iyong supply reduction and demand reduction. But there are other four supplementary pillars ano, iyong rehabilitation and reintegration pillar. We have the public awareness and response – ito iyong what we are doing now. We have the alternative development to provide alternative livelihood to those individuals, and the international and regional cooperation.

Ito iyong importante also, ito iyong malaking tulong para sa law enforcement natin eh, iyong coordination nila doon sa counterparts nila. Many of the interception at the ports are results of this coordination with a foreign counterpart. So ito iyong ano, we continuously implement this—actually, six pillars iyon but we are considering the supply and the demand reductions pillars as our two main pillars. Iyong other four will just be support to the two pillars.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Makakaasa po ba ang taumbayan na hindi na mauulit iyong pagpasok ulit ng ganoong karaming shabu sa ating bansa?

SEC. CUY: Well, we hope. Iyon nga, it’s under investigation pa naman eh so—

HENRY URI/DZRH: Last, Secretary. Sabi ng Pangulo, imposible, kahit na matapos ang kaniyang termino, imposibleng matapos iyong problema ng droga. Sinusuportahan ninyo po ba iyong claim na iyon ng Presidente?

SEC. CUY: Yes. Actually, sa Dangerous Drugs Board at sa PDEA, pareho kami ng mission: To have a drug-free Philippines by 2022, in time doon sa term ni Presidente. Well, it may not be possible or it may be difficult, but that is our target anyway. And with what we’re doing, with the cooperation of all sectors, whole nation approach, who knows baka makuha natin iyan. So ano lang iyan, it’s a …we are confident.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Hindi naman shot in the dark iyan, Secretary?

SEC. CUY: Hindi, hindi. Mayroon tayong maa-attain.

HANNAH SANCHO/DZAR: Good afternoon, sir. Sir, si Cebu City Mayor Tommy Osmeña, sabi po niya, law enforcement alone cannot solve iyong drug problem sa Pilipinas. At sinasabi din po niya na, very poor daw po iyong government when it comes to rehabilitation. Kumusta na po iyong efforts na ginagawa natin to rehabilitate po iyong mga surrenderees po natin at iyong mga pabalik-balik na po sa paggamit ng droga po?
SEC. DUQUE: Well, unang-una, ang I think ginagampanan ng Department of Health ay iyong doon nga sa treatment, care and support, kasama po rito ang rehabilitation. So there’s what we call a continuous capacity building. And as I have enumerated a while ago, we have now 53 licensed drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation centers; 15 existing DOH TRCs with an implementing bed capacity of close to about 6,000. And also, there are 11 ongoing constructions of additional DOH treatment and rehabilitation centers.

In fact, kasama ko si Presidente two weeks ago, we inaugurated and formally open the Malay-Balay Bukidnon Drug and Treatment Rehabilitation Center which according to some external assessment bodies, seem to be one of the – not the – best TRC in the region. It’s very nice. It’s very, very complete. And this was donated by a Chinese philanthropist.

So the capacity building is very important. Because as you improve on detection, deterrence and then prosecution, etc., so iyong mga taong nahuhuli, kailangan continuously are provided the opportunity to be evaluated the best possible way so that the corresponding treatment package is made available, depending on the severity of their conditions as victims of drug addiction.

So iyon po ang ginagawa natin and I think credit must go to President Duterte, with respect to the enhancement and substantial increase in the number of treatment and rehabilitation centers. There’s never been something like this, ever before. So I think it’s to the credit of the President that his approach has been very balanced and well-coordinated in terms of the execution of his anti-drug abuse program – but DOH together with the DSWD, as pillars, as members or as the ones implementing rehabilitation and reintegration efforts and programs. So this is a continuing effort of the Duterte administration.

HANNAH SANCHO/DZAR: Sec, last na po. How do we gauge iyong success po ng rehab program ng pamahalaan? Kapag pumasok siya sa rehab center, lumabas siya, bumalik sa society, iyong hindi siya nakabalik ulit sa drug addiction? Is that how we gauge or numbers po ba iyong pinagbabasehan natin na successful po iyong rehab program natin?

SEC. DUQUE: Well, that’s a very good metric. That’s a very good question but the metric that we can use off hand is, for example, iyong 2016, a total of in-patient admissions, 2,975; 2017: 2,634; 2018: 2,852, for a total of 8,461.

Now, listen to this: the number of graduate residents, iyong mga natapos ang rehabilitation program, in 2016: 3,592; 2017: 3,453; 2018:1,327, for a total of 8,412; so maganda iyong turnover, maganda iyong rate nang nakakatapos – completion ng rehabilitation program.

But of course, side by side with our in-patient care, another important intervention is the after-care, until they reintegrated into the society and where the DSWD has a significant role in making sure that the reintegration efforts are successful, coupled with the relevant programs of the DSWD.

So, I think there are many metrics that we can use as a reflection of the success of the government’s broad front approach to addressing the scourge of illegal drugs. But I’ll tell you this, if you are going to look at DOH what it has done, many more TRCs, many more bed capacities. So while, you know, is this good? Of course, it’s good. But while we are improving and enhancing our capacities, remember the other pillars are also at play – and so the prosecution, the advocacies. And so all these efforts must be intertwined and hopefully achieve the outcome that is a drug-free Philippines by 2022 – under whose leadership, the President, has shown strong political will to pursue. Thank you.

SEC. OGORO: Can I add? Maybe one measure that we can say that the rehabilitation of drug dependent is successful is when they return to the community and they return to their family, and the family is very supportive of the drug dependent; because sometimes, within the family, they keep silent. They don’t want people to know that they have a child that is under the influence of drugs. And in every family, I think in every ten families in the Philippines, I think one percent has one child under the influence of drugs.

So we can only say that a drug addict or a dependent on drugs is very successful is when he returns to the community, he will be back to his main role as before. Ibig sabihin po niyan, nakabalik siya sa trabaho, puwede; nakabalik siya pag-aaral, puwede; at nakabalik din siya sa kaniyang pamilya, kung siya man ay pamilyadong tao. Although hindi po lahat ng nagiging successful na na-rehabilitate natin ay bumabalik talaga sa normal na buhay because ang sabi nga natin, with DOH, na hindi lahat ng—lalo pa kung severe iyong kaniyang condition, makabalik man po siya sa normal na buhay, matulungan man po natin siya, medyo may pagkukulang na doon sa kaniyang pagkilos bilang normal na indibidwal sa society.

So, because in social work or in the Department of Social Welfare, iyong mga na-rehabilitate po natin diyan, marami po diyan kapag bumalik na po—even the young people na kapag bumalik na po, hindi na po sila ganoon kaayos ‘no especially sa pag-iisip. So I really wanted to appeal to everybody, in every community and in every barangay sana… ma-identify natin at matulungan natin ‘no; magkaroon na tayo ng preventive action agad ‘no, even before these people will be dragged into drugs ‘no.

So iyon po iyong hingin natin at tulungan na rin po natin ang Presidente natin, because we’re not putting all the blame in our President na lahat… nagkaroon tayo ng ganitong kalaking problema. But what our President Duterte is doing, he is trying to solve and help every Filipino people na maging ligtas tayo sa anumang—especially when it comes to, and related to illegal drugs ‘no. So I hope this opportunity na binigay ninyo sa amin, we will all help each other.

At magtulungan na lang po tayo at tulungan din natin iyong ating Presidente dahil hindi niya rin po kaya – he is so frustrated because ‘pag nakita niya po iyong isang pamilya talagang down ‘no, and because of the family—nagkakaroon pa iyan ng repercussion sa buong pamilya eh. When one of your member, you try it in your family, magkasakit nga lang ng ordinary na sakit hindi ba, nagkakaroon na ng imbalances sa family – within the family.

So one important talaga na ating titingnan ay iyong families natin. So I think iyong DSWD is also vent on helping each family. Kaya iyong pinakita namin kanina sa inyo, two-pronged approach iyan: while we try to rehabilitate iyong nasa—when they go back to their communities, we also try to help their family ‘no; iyong mga pamilya, kapatid, asawa, kamag-anak, girlfriend, boyfriend, ganiyan… tinutulungan din po natin sila – one is acceptance.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Kay Secretary Cuy po. Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque earlier said that the administration has yet to make a dent as far as stopping international drug syndicates from importing drugs in the Philippines. Do you agree with this statement sir, that we have to make a dent on that aspect?

SEC. CUY: Ano iyon eh, medyo ma… ano ‘no, medyo tricky iyong situation na iyan. As we said kanina, drug trafficking is an international or transnational crime ito. The Philippines is either the market or transshipment area. So as we said, it’s really a challenge for law enforcement agencies to put a stop, total stop dito sa happenings na ito because of number one, iyong geography natin – we have a very long coastline and admittedly, our law enforcement agencies and even the military cannot secure all these coastlines, napakahaba niyan.

And kung hindi nila maipasok through the normal airport and seaport, they will resort to the unguarded coastline. That’s why part of the airport’s law enforcement, sa PNP for example, they are everywhere… they are in all municipalities anyway to include iyong mga coastal watch, to get the support from the barangay officials doon sa mga coastal town, kasi they are ano, ito iyong force multiplier natin.

It may be true na mahirapan tayo, kasi very well funded and organized ang mga drug syndicates na ito, and iyong mga drug syndicate, they are the same person involved in illegal trafficking—human trafficking, illegal firearms, money laundering… the same people iyan, the same people involved in crimes. So talaga ano iyon, it’s a challenge really; we admit that it’s a challenge.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Sir, the latest shipment of drugs came from China and Taiwan; kamusta po iyong coordination natin with their governments.

SEC. CUY: Actually according to PDEA, result iyon noong coordination nila eh sa counterparts nila.

DILG-OIC AÑO: Actually positive developments ito eh. Before kasi, dito nila niluluto iyong shabu kasi the materials are available; all they have to do is bring in the chemist. Eh napaghuhuli na natin lahat iyong mga chemist eh, saka na-raid na natin iyong mga shabu laboratory. And then these suppliers they found out, mas mura pala kung doon lulutuin sa China with their own [mic feedback]. Ang problema nila, paano nila ipapasok dito sa Pilipinas. And we are now starting to intercept these shipments, but siyempre talagang tuluy-tuluy dapat.

And then of course, malaking tulong din sana kung mayroon din sanang… iyong hinihingi nating maipasang batas – iyong death penalty para sa mga drug pushers and drug syndicate, kasi tayo na lang yata iyong natitirang bansa na wala tayong death penalty sa drugs. Sa Malaysia pumunta ka, 7 grams lang death na kaagad iyon eh, so takot talaga iyong mga tao doon; so dapat ganiyan eh, dapat matakot iyong mga tao dito magbenta ng drugs.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: So ibig sabihin sir iyong efforts natin sa war on drugs, hindi pa siya nakapag—parang hindi pa siya deterrent or hindi po natatakot iyong mga tao? Kailangan pa ng death—

DILG-OIC AÑO: Kulang pa, kulang pa eh. Drug lord ka, makukulong ka lang; magagawa mo pa iyong operation mo sa loob ng kulungan – aba, eh bakit ka matatakot hindi ba. And then later on, kung mababayaran mo pa at makakalabas ka. So kailangan kapag doon pa lang pagkahuli, pag-try mo, death penalty kaagad. Eh at least, kahit sa drugs lang.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Thank you, sir.

CHRISTINE AVENDAÑ/PHIL. DAILY INQUIRER: Secretary Año, just on the 6.8 billion. What’s the real story behind that, sir? Because the President said last night, he was not convinced that there were drugs…

DILG-OIC AÑO: I’m not privy to the details, and there is an ongoing investigation at the House. So, no comment na lang.

CHRISTINE AVENDAÑ/PHIL. DAILY INQUIRER: Sir, who’s doing the investigation?

DILG-OIC AÑO: Well, I think NBI is already tapped to do the investigation. There are allegations that nakalusot itong shabu sa BOC, but it appears naman na wala talagang concrete na ebidensiya pang nakikita, so tuloy pa rin iyong investigation diyan. So maybe, let us allow the investigation to finish before we can make any comment or assessment. Thank you.

CHRISTINE AVENDAÑ/PHIL. DAILY INQUIRER: Mayroong initial report that there were traces, hindi pa iyon sir ah…

DILG-OIC AÑO: Well sabi naman doon sa report ng BOC, wala raw traces doon na nakita. So hindi natin alam, puwedeng nalinisan kaagad o puwedeng wala talaga; so kailangan pa talaga ng investigation.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Secretary Año, mukhang bangka ka. [Laughs] Sir, medyo off tangent lang iyong topic. The President last night mentioned of a joint command conference between the AFP and the PNP. I’m sure you were there ‘no?


JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: There was a time that he mentioned, he talked about military junta. What do you think of the fact that the President is floating the idea first of a military junta?

DILG-OIC AÑO: Well, unang-una, doon sa command conference, inilabas lang niya iyong kaniyang nasa loob. It’s about what you say, thinking aloud ‘no. At hindi naman ibig sabihin noon ay he is encouraging the military to put up a junta – hindi naman.

Iyon ay mga litany ni President to emphasize something. Like for example, the corruption, the drugs. Para i-emphasize lang niya talaga na ito ang gusto niyang matapos sa term niya. The Department of Defense and the DILG, we were all there, and our job is really to—how to transform his guidance into actions so we can accomplish his objectives.

So iyon lang naman ang nakikita namin doon; ini-emphasize niya talaga iyong gaano kalaki iyong problema. And of course, kami, iyong enforcement and the AFP, isa lang ang ibig sabihin noon: We have to do more. We have to, kumbaga, marami pa kaming dapat gawin.

But there is no existing condition that would say a need for a coup or a junta or a military takeover – walang ganiyang sitwasyon. Even in the Armed Forces, in the PNP, everyone is happy lalo na nadoble iyong suweldo nila. And everything is provided by the President kahit hindi mo pa hinihingi, para sa performance ng work mo, binigay niya – healthcare and equipment, as well as sa incentive. So talagang there is no alibi for us to fail in our mission.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: He said that he told the military and police officials that he is thinking of stepping down. When he, the President, mentions this to military officials and police officials, how should you take—how are you taking those kinds of statement?

DILG-OIC AÑO: May mga premise naman iyon. Sinasabi niya na mabigat itong problema natin sa drugs at corruption, hindi ko yata makakaya ito. Kung hindi ko ito makaya, mag-i-step down na lang ako. Kung hindi ko ito makaya, iyon ang sinabi niya.

Pero with all the resources and with all the support, kayang-kaya naman natin ito, sabi nga, hindi nga lang overnight. But you count all the accomplishments since day one of his assumption until now, you can see, even based on the surveys, on the trust rating, it’s all positive. So para sa akin, iyong sinabi niya is not really his intention of going down but just to emphasize the magnitude of the work that has to be done.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Hi, Secretary. Good afternoon. Sir, ano po iyong hakbang ng DILG doon sa report ng COA tungkol po doon sa 27 ghost barangays po ng Manila na allegedly ay binigyan ng real property tax shares ni Mayor Estrada?

DILG-OIC AÑO: Well, magka-conduct tayo ng investigation diyan sa mga report na iyan. Alam ninyo naman iyong ating emphasis sa administration na ito: Corruption. So wala tayong sasantuhin dito; we just need the information, the data, and they will conduct the investigation.

For your information, we launched the Bantay Korapsyon … Bantay Kaagapay or Bantay Korapsyon, and we have about 250 local chief executives that are being investigated now just based from the complaints sa 8888 at saka sa mga information na nakuha namin from the field – dito, wala tayong sasantuhin dito. Sabi nga ni Presidente, isa lang ang gusto niyang ma-achieve sa administration na ito: Mawala iyong korapsyon at saka iyong drugs; so gagawin natin iyan.

ASEC. CUALOPING: To our friends, I think I’ll give one more statement from Secretary Duque to emphasize lang the launch of the DOH help line because I think in social media, we’ve seen that and I think that’s the question amongst our kababayan: What to do when you have a friend or a relative or a loved one who has fallen prey to illegal drugs? What to do? Where they can ask help? Who to contact? DOH has launched something, and Secretary Duque will emphasize that one.

SEC. DUQUE: I think it’s in one of the slides; it’s the help line 155. Ito ay napakahalaga na tumanggap ng mga impormasyon patungkol po sa mga taong nabiktima ng iligal na droga. At dito po ang DOH ay makakatugon kaagaran sa mga impormasyon na makakalap mula sa help line na ito.

So bahagi po ito ng ating kampaniya, iyong “Talikuran ang Droga: Sa Pagbabago Mo, May Handang Tumulong Sa’yo.”

So kindly disseminate this, our friends from media, so that we’ll have a successful help line and as a conduit to getting and providing ultimately, the help/assistance that families with members who have become drug addicts. Thank you.


SOURCE: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau)