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The Taskforce members discussing the region’s convergence mechanism

The Calabarzon Regional Taskforce on Drug Rehabilitation conducted a workshop on 2 to 3 February to firm up the composition, functions and activities of the Taskforce. The workshop which was facilitated by NEDA Region IV-A, was participated by representatives from national and regional line agencies, provinces, selected cities and municipalities, Liga ng mga Barangay, civil society organization.

DOH’s Regional Director Rio Magpantay, in his welcome message, cited that out of 138,142 drug surrenderers from Calabarzon, DOH was only able to screen 3,453, assessed 389 and referred 81 drugs surrenderers to rehabilitation centers. The screening of the surrenderers is critical as it determines the course of action that needs to be taken by the surrenderer and by the government. However due to insufficient number of trained personnel and participation from concerned agencies, the screening process has become a bottleneck. He said that the creation of the Taskforce would greatly contribute to the successful implementation of drug rehabilitation programs as it would serve as a venue for line agencies to discuss and harmonize their activities.

The workshop began with the presentation of the RDC initiatives, the three pillars of intervention for drug rehabilitation and the Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 4. It was followed by the presentations of possible community rehabilitation programs by Director Vernie Compas of Interfaith Partnership for Promoting Responsible Parenthood, Inc. and Mr. Bernan Corpuz of National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Atty. Reynaldo Flores of the National Privacy Commission presented the rights to privacy of drug surrenderers to guide the Taskforce in handling the surrenderers’ profile. The session culminated with the preparation of the region’s convergence mechanism to speed-up implementation of drug rehabilitation. Among the identified convergence mechanisms are the integration of DOH, DSWD, and PNP data capture forms, the One-Stop-Shop for profiling and screening, and the provision of community-based interventions.

The Terms of Reference (TOR), the coordination and reporting mechanism and the action plan for 2017-18 were among the output of the workshop. The TOR emphasizes the role of the Taskforce as the coordinating body for the three pillars of the drug rehabilitation program. DILG was identified as the Chair of the Taskforce with DOH and DSWD as co-chairs. NEDA is the ex-officio vice chair while PDEA is the Secretariat.

The activity was concluded with the 1st Quarter Meeting of the Taskforce, presided by ARD Gina Gacusan of NEDA Region IV-A. The Taskforce approved the TOR and endorsed the convergence mechanism and action plan to the Sectoral Committee on Social Development for subsequent endorsement to the RDC.

ARD Gina Gacusan of NEDA Region IV-A delivering the opening message
ARD Gina Gacusan of NEDA Region IV-A delivering the opening message
Dir. Rio Magpantay of DOH Region IV-A providing updates on the drug surrenderers screened, assessed, and referred to rehabilitation centers
Dir. Rio Magpantay of DOH Region IV-A providing updates on the drug surrenderers screened, assessed, and referred to rehabilitation centers

Donna Riza P. Ronquillo, NEDA Region IV-A | Monday, February 8, 2016