By Jovee Marie de la Cruz, November 19 2018; Business Mirror

Image Credit to ABS-CBN News

AS the country marks Drug Prevention and Control Week, the vice chairman of the House Committee on Local Government on Sunday urged local government units (LGUs), government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) and state universities and colleges (SUCs) to fast-track their antidrug programs.

Rep. Luis Raymund F. Villafuerte Jr. of the Second District of Camarines Sur said these LGUs and entities should tap barangay health workers in helping implement the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy (Pads). Villafuerte believes this can be done by training and equipping public health workers with the knowledge needed to treat outpatient drug-rehabilitation cases at the grassrootslevel.

“Many drug-rehabilitation cases can still be treated as outpatient cases.”

According to Villafuerte, LGUs, GOCCs and SUCs should now establish and strengthen their respective anti-drug abuse councils and carry out their respective drug-free workplace programs.

Moreover, in keeping with Executive Order 66 signed by President Duterte in October, Villafuerte said all national government agencies, LGUs, GOCC and SUCs should similarly put on the fast-track their own programs fleshing out the Pads.

Under EO 66, the President designated the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) as the lead agency in the implementation of this antidrug strategy.

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.

“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 in management and assessment those found to be using drugs in their respective localities.