Parallel complementary approach in helping government's W.O.D.

The resolve "failure is not an option" is a blind motivation when the inadequate option is the one simplistically chosen at the outset.

For failure not to be an option, needless to say that it is crucial that the right holistic option should be the one adopted.

In this war on drugs, it is not yet far in the game to make right adjustments of the game plan and it can still very much be effected positively.

Though slow, but nevertheless, the Church, LGUs, academic sector and communities have finally started to respond to the challenge and they are now exerting serious efforts to help the government in its fight against the menace of illegal drugs.

How about the rest of us, how and when will we do our part?


Church, academe partner for drug crisis intervention
By John Frances C. Fuentes / CBCP News
October 3, 2016

In response to the widespread drug problem in the country, the Archdiocese of Davao and the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) have forged a partnership through the Sagop Kinabuhi Program (SKP) to help address the ongoing crisis .

SKP is the concrete response of the Church to the mass surrender of drug users and pushers, now known as Voluntary Submission for Reformation (VSR) persons, resulting from the government’s ongoing war on drugs.

The Church through its Archdiocesan Social Action Center (ASAC) and USeP have designed SKP to contribute to the multi-sectoral efforts of reconciling and reunifying VSRs with their respective families and communities.

Celebrating the Word

Using a framework advocated by the Department of Health, SKP wants to address drug dependency and carry out interventions to bring back VSRs’ lost self-confidence, self-respect, and self-worth and to enable them to become productive members of their families and communities once again.

The program also aims to create a functional working relationship with the barangays and parishes through its Gagmay’ng Kristohanong Katilingban (GKK) situated within the SKP program site. In the GKK, VSRs celebrate the liturgy of the word in different GKK chapels every week together with members of the community.

Previously identified as a strategic geographical location being a rural-urban area, the Talomo district is the chosen pilot site for the implementation of SKP.

It is worth mentioning that SKP is not intended for Catholics alone but for all drug dependents and drug pushers who want to participate in the program.

Responding to the crisis

Only mild and moderate cases of drug dependency, however, will be catered to by the program. Severe and mentally-ill dependents will be served by other agencies like rehabilitation centers and hospitals.

It can be recalled that before Davao Archbishop Romulo G. Valles’ efforts to revive the program, SKP had already begun in Davao City in 2003, running until 2011.

The clergy of Davao responded to the prelate’s challenge to respond to the ongoing drug crisis by deciding to continue SKP, which was once under the leadership of former ASAC director Fr. Emmanuel Gonzaga, current chaplain to the City Mayor’s Office.

Gonzaga then led the planning to revive SKP together with individuals who were part of the program and partner agencies which helped in financing and running the program.

9 activities

USeP, headed by Dr. Lourdes Generalao, then signified its support for the implementation of SKP in the different parishes in the Archdiocese of Davao.

Presently, there are nine intervention programs and activities slated for the VSRs in Davao City, namely:

- Social Services (psychosocial interventions, financial and material assistance)
- Home/Family (parenting seminars/trainings)
- Educational Services (formal or non-formal, scholarship support)
- Psychological/Psychiatric Assessment
- Productivity (skills training and job placement)
- Health Education (STD/HIV/Hepatitis, lung diseases, malnourishment)
- Religious/Spirituality (value formation)
- Dietetics (right food, detoxification, healthy lifestyle)
- Sports and recreational activities

The launching of SKP and MOA signing with partner agencies is set on Oct. 7, 3:00 p.m. at San Pablo Parish in Matina, Davao City. The group has invited President Rodrigo Duterte as guest of honor.


Bishop to Duterte: Declare drug war ‘peace zones’
By Minnie De Luna / CBCPNews
October 5, 2016

Expressing concern for the continued increase in summary executions due to the war against illegal drugs, Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias, D.D. appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to declare dioceses or areas with ongoing drug rehabilitation programs as “peace zones”, during the National Launching of Mamamayang Ayaw Sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw Sa Ilegal Na Droga (MASA MASID) held at the SB Park, Batasan Hills last Sept. 28.

“Is it possible, Mr. President, that you declare as peace zones all dioceses or barangays with ongoing [drug] rehabilitation programs in collaboration with the police?” said the prelate in his alarm over the reported more than 1,300 who died since the administration’s declared all-out war on drugs. The bishop noted that the increasing number of casualties is nearing the recorded 4,000 who died during the 20 years of Martial Law.

“This refers to a peace zone like that in Mindanao–where no one should die in the area [related to the war on drugs]. If someone dies in the areas declared as peace zones by the President, the President and the police will call you out,” explained Tobias.

Healing, protection of life

The bishop said if this is not possible, another option would be for the police to be transparent about who is on their list of drug dependents and pushers so the Church can help verify its veracity as well. Tobias hopes such information could be passed among the parishes through the priests and the barangays engaged in the drug rehabilitation program.

More importantly, the prelate reiterated the diocese’s thrust of healing and protection under its Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation Program (CBDRP) dubbed “Abot Kamay Alang-alang sa Pagbabago” (AKAP). He explained that the Catholic Church, particularly in the Diocese of Novaliches, is helping the Duterte administration in its fight against illegal drugs but only in the aspect of healing and protection through the “Principle of Double Effect.”

According to Tobias, it is because of Jesus, who is a healer, that the Church will be involved in two aspects of the drug campaign: rehabilitation and healing, and protection of life.

‘Place of refuge’

“Because we are a Church, we are a place of refuge, this is the House of God and everyone in it must be kept safe.”

The Diocese of Novaliches was one the entities that expressed solidarity with MASA MASID during its national launching. The MASA MASID program will be implemented in the Diocese of Novaliches through its Basic Ecclesial Communities under its CBDRP’s Community Care Committee.


Haven For Anti-Drug Abuse To Open in Bohol
By Ven Rebo Arigo
September 25, 2016

Gov. Edgar Chatto has created an inter-agency, multi-sectoral body to spark up Bohol’s tasking rehabilitation program for drug dependents or users universally called as persons with substance use disorders (PSUDs).

Integral to the composition is a “specialized” team managing the first community-based Center for Drug Abuse Education and Counseling (CEDEC) to be run by the provincial government beginning October 7.

A three-day training from October 4 will be conducted to 48 teams—with each from Tagbilaran City and the 47 municipalities—who will handle the CEDECs that have also to be put up by the local government units (LGUs).

The series of trainings will be facilitated by the Department of Health in tie-up with the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and the provincial government.

Chatto and DOH Sec. Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial arranged the necessary collaboration at their mini-conference during the National Health Summit in Pasay City the other week.

Dr. David Baron, head of the DOH Argao Rehabilitation Center, will spearhead and supervise the trainings and ensure that all LGUs can have built-in capacity two handle the drug surrenderers.

For brevity called the Inter-Agency Provincial Team (IAPT), it has been created by Chatto thru an executive order to implement a community-based intervention program for the PSUDs.

The PSUDs include the drug detainees who were arrested in police operations.

As a council, the IAPT can form bodies in support of its mandates and to carry out effectively its defined duties and responsibilities.

The IAPT is under the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC) chaired by the governor.

Its members include the agencies for law enforcement, health, justice, jail management, parole and probation, education, social welfare, interior and local government, labor and employment, technical and vocational skills, and local government leagues.

The IAPT also has the church and laity, social action centers, academe, business, legal and medical/health professionals, media, civic clubs, youth and student groups, and federations of the senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and parents-teachers.

Chatto enjoined to the program as many volunteers “who could express their experience.”

Provincial CEDEC

Using the Oak Brook building beside the St. Joseph Cathedral here, the provincial CEDEC will be managed by a trained team of three psychiatrists, one psychologist, an on-call medical doctor, two nurses, two social workers, four police officers, and some administrative staff.

The structure is owned by the Lions Club, which will provide additional two personnel, while its lot is a provincial government property.

The team already completed its three-day training, according to Dr. Cesar Tomas Lopez, who is the province’s focal person on drug rehabilitation and the governor’s consultant on hospital modernization and health services.

On for outpatients, the CEDEC determines its clients for counseling, appropriate interventions or, when necessary, referral to rehabilitation facilities like that in Argao, Cebu run by the DOH or in Baclayon managed privately.

The government is working on the planned construction of a drug rehabilitation center in Bohol while certain benefactors, like one beer giant, have offered to help build rehabilitation facilities in the country.

Lopez reported to the governor at the PADAC meeting that the CEDEC intends to start operational on October 7 with himself as chief.

Lopez said 1,500 kits for free drug tests to the walk-in clients are ready.

Depending on the circumstances that have indulged the clients in drugs, the CEDEC’s evaluation of their cases can lead to interventions like livelihood thru technical education and skills development.

But Lopez clarified that as an education and counseling facility, the CEDEC can work on cases of slight and moderate PSUDs.

Severe drug dependents end up at the rehabilitation centers, which can competently cater to the extent of their treatment and recovery needs.

Model to LGU CEDECs

The provincial CEDEC is to serve as a model to the community-based education and counseling centers to be established in the city and municipalities.

The DOH and DDB will collaborate with the province in the three-day training starting October 4 to each CEDEC team in the city and all towns.

Each team has seven trainees who are the police chief, mayor, health officer, social worker, local government operations officer, head of the Liga ng mga Barangay (LnB), and a religious group representative.

The CEDEC teams in the LGUs are to be taught of the different modalities of how to engage with the PSUDs.

Spiritual regeneration is crucial to the gradual positive transformation of the drug users and offenders from their possessive “evil” shade until they attain “cleansed, new” lives.

To optimize time and resources, the DOH will spread out teams to four cluster areas in the province and conduct simultaneous trainings.

The city and town CEDECs have to be established considering the number of drug surrenderers owing to the Oplan Tokhang by the Philippine National Police (PNP).

In addition to the surrenderers are the arrested drug elements pursuant to the intensified police operations.

Drug use levels

Dependency to substance abuse is classified into three levels–slight, moderate and severe, the latter’s dependency to require an in-patient enrolment at a rehabilitation center.

The moderately and slightly affected will be handled by the centers for drug education and counseling, or the slight users brought home but still placed under a community-based rehabilitation program.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), only between .6% and 1% of the PSUDs require full rehabilitation facility confinement.

The rest are for out-patient counseling and community-based rehabilitative approach.

Using the PNP Tokhang surrenderers’ number as baseline figure, only 311 PSUDs in Bohol thus need to be referred to the rehabilitation centers, Lopez said.

The term PSUD for a drug dependent or user is coined by the WHO for universal use and the provincial CEDEC evaluation system for its clients is also of WHO standard, according to Lopez.

The PSUD client undergoes what Lopez called the “ASSIST BI” assessment—Alcohol, Smoking, Substance Involvement Screening Test and Brief Intervention.

After two weeks of evaluation session, apt interventions are to be determined like referrals to technical vocational education, alternative learning system and medical treatment, among others.

Family therapy and spiritual reawakening are also critical interventions, Lopez said.

Serious education at all fronts

Led by the governor, the PADAC passed at its meeting Thursday a resolution urging all sectors to sustain the anti-drug education campaign in their respective confines.

The council also urged the strengthening of the Municipal and Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (MDAC/BADAC).

The twin calls have been a policy direction of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC), which Chatto also chairs.

Chatto and PNP Regional Director Noli Talino just launched here the Alyansa Laban sa Droga (ALSA DROGA) with Vice Gov. Dionisio Balite, City Mayor John Geesnell Yap II and Bohol mayors’ league president and Clarin Mayor Rey Allen Piezas witnessing in support.

The launching was attended, too, by DILG Provincial Director Ma. Loisella Lucino, PNP Provincial Director Felipe Natividad, AFP’s Col. Arnulfo Matanguihan and Lt. Col. Jose Dodgie Belloga, Jr., and many other LGU officials.

Chatto led Bohol officials to the launching—with workshops among officials from different regions—of the “Sulong Pilipinas: Local Governance Dialogue” spearh3eaded no less by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and DILG Sec. Ismael Sueno in Davao City on Tuesday.

The life-consuming concern of ending drug evil highlighted the event which had Chatto, as the tasked spokesman for Central Visayas, presenting the summary output of the region’s workshop.