PDEA holds confab for DDB authorized reps in Catanduanes

Mr. Lemuel P. Surtida, the Provincial Administrator, representing Governor Joseph C. Cua, welcomes Atty. Cesar G. Posada, the guest speaker of the orientation seminar for Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Authorized Representatives of the province, this September 4 at the Conference Room of his office.

To facilitate the processing and filing of petitions before the court, for the application of Surrendered Drug Users (SDUs) for their treatment and rehabilitation, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) spearheaded by Provincial Officer, Agent Arlene B. Galiza, conducted an orientation seminar for Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Authorized Representatives of the province last September 4 at the Provincial Administrator’s Office-Conference Room.

Atty. Cesar G. Posada, former Chief of the Legal Affairs Division and Resident DDB Ombudsman and currently, the Consultant of Legal Matters and DDB Authorized Representatives, and also the guest speaker of the event, comprehensively tackled the salient features of Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 or RA 9165.

The provision requires that a court order is issued for the confinement of a drug dependent in a treatment and rehabilitation facility.

Posada presented the sections of the law by providing concrete examples and sharing relevant instances regarding the issue and handling drug cases effectively.

“In order to win a battle, you have to know your enemy- and that enemy is drugs,” Posada said.

He also shared about how drugs were first introduced in the Philippines, showing that marijuana was the first abused drugs by the Ancient Sumerians, followed by opium which was introduced by a merchant named Marco Polo, until it was widely-produced in the Golden Crescent (Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan) and Golden Triangle (Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar) of Asia.

Posada also said that there are two drug rehabilitation centers in the region which are located at Malinao, Albay and San Fernando, Camarines Sur. He also suggested that the Mega Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (Mega DATRC) at Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija accepts free rehabilitation of indigent drug addicts as long as they have a referral from the local government.

Moreover, he also emphasized the functions of support institutions and agencies such as Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Alternative Learning System (ALS) which are in charge of the distance learning and out-of-school education for recovering SDUs.

Meanwhile, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) are in-charge for their livelihood and job opportunities.

“Sa mga batang hamog o batang gala naman na hindi kilala ang mga magulang, DSWD na ang in-charge,” he added.

As part of its efforts to ensure proper implementation of regulations issued by the Dangerous Drugs Board, the PDEA, through an Agency Memorandum Circular, has ordered all its Regional Directors to coordinate with Chairpersons of Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (MADACs) for the designation of DDB-Authorized Representatives who perform a big role in the treatment and rehabilitation of drug dependents.

The DDB authorized representatives of the province, if willing, will serve as witnesses of the government in the court with the help of Dr. Gibson Gabitan and Dr. Angel Lamban, the two local physicians accredited by the Department of Health (DOH), petitioning the SDUs to undergo a treatment and rehabilitation program.

Furthermore, Posada also told the representatives that if there are any problems that they will encounter, the Provincial Attorney’s Office (PAO) is ready to help as they (DDB and PAO) both had entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

Meanwhile, Mr. Lemuel P. Surtida, the Provincial Administrator, representing Governor Joseph C. Cua, expressed his support in another endeavor of their partner agencies and support institutions for their vision of a drug-free Catanduanes, as they recently launched the first Balay Silangan in Bicol.

Also present during the event were PDEA-Provincial Officer, Agent Arlene B. Galiza; Dr. Hazel A. Palmes and Dr. Magdalena Martinez of Provincial Health Office (PHO); Dr. Lilian Olfindo, Municipal Health Officer of San Miguel Rural Health Unit (RHU); 1st and 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Companies (PMFC)- Catanduanes Provincial Police Office (CATPPO) operatives; CATPPO health service nurses; and representatives from different municipal police stations in the province. (Catanduanes PIO)