The Daily Manila Shimbun


Philippines, Japan sign document on drug rehab program

January 18, 2017

The governments of the Philippines and Japan recently signed a program document to ensure cooperation on the treatment and rehabilitation of the country’s illegal drug users, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said Tuesday.

The signing ceremony held on January 13 at the ES Gallery, Mabini Hall, Malacanang, the PDEA said.

The signatories were officials of member-agencies of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Establishment and Support of Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers (DATRCs) Throughout the Country led by its chairperson, Interior and Local Government Undersecretary John Castriciones and the Government of Japan through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) represented by  Takahiro Morita, who signed the program document for Comprehensive Assistance for Rehabilitation (CARE).

“The goal of the CARE program is to establish treatment and rehabilitation facilities and strengthen policies of treatment protocol and interventions for drug dependents nationwide,” said PDEA Director General Isidro

Lapeña, adding JICA has committed to support the program by extending a grant aid as a token of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

“In addition to JICA, donations in significant portions to the DATRC Task Force continue to pour in from local and international benefactors to help build more drug treatment facilities nationwide. It is heartwarming to know that they have full faith and trust in the government’s intensified fight against illegal drugs,” Lapeña said.

The DATRCs Task Force, whose powers and functions include the determination of suitable locations of the DATRCs and their establishment and provision of operational support mechanism, is composed of the DILG, Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Office of the President (OP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

The PDEA chief said  the number of drug dependents who have surrendered to authorities is  growing daily.

“That is why the long-term goal here is to have at least one DATRC in every province, as mandated by law. With the overwhelming financial support the task force is receiving, more DATRCs will be built that would cover the treatment and rehabilitation of more drug dependents throughout the country,” he said.

There are 16 DOH-accredited government drug rehabilitation centers in the country. DMS