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DILG lauds SMC for P1-billion pledge for drug rehab facilities, appeals for more donations

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael D. Sueno today lauded San Miguel Corporation (SMC) for pledging to donate P1-billion to the government for the construction of new drug rehabilitation facilities. “We commend the SMC for being the first among the big businesses to come forward to express its all-out support to the government’s anti-drug campaign,” said Sueno. He urged other conglomerates, benevolent groups and individuals to exercise their corporate social responsibility by contributing to the community and donating a part of their revenues to the government. “We call on other institutional partners in the country to help in the government’s efforts to put up more drug rehabilitation centers and upgrade our drug rehab facilities,”he said. Last August 11, SMC president and COO Ramon S. Ang said in a statement to the media,
“More significantly, our human capital is key. By supporting government in this endeavor, we are helping create an environment that will enable various sectors of our society to participate in and contribute to our country’s growth.” Care for surrenderees In a related development, Sueno said an interagency community-based rehabilitation program is set to be pilot-tested during a soft launching this month. He said the planned community-based rehabilitationis aptly to be named “CARE program” because it involves healing in the patients’ physical, psychological and neurologicaldimensions. The program will also cater to their spiritual needs, as well extend the needed social support.
“Surrenderees are people needing our help. For them to yield to authorities means that they are willing to go back to the fold of law and they trust the government to help them recover,” said Sueno. He said surrenderees will be evaluated for counseling, and will have the chance to undergo vocational training forincreased livelihood opportunities, and do alternative activities such as community service, sports, arts and music. The DILG Secretary said that the interagency committee on illegal drugs is currently finalizing the process of identifying and classifying surrenderees for appropriate treatment and rehabilitation based on their profilingresults.
They can then be referred to a community-based or out-patient service facility. Those needing extreme care and attention due to the severity of their addiction can be referred to a mental health institution or a hospital. He shared that the President will soon issue an executive order on the treatment and rehabilitation of drug dependents.
For the community care, the Ugnayan ng Barangay at mga Simbahan (UBAS) will be tapped to facilitate and mobilize MASA MASID (Mamamayang Ayaw Sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw Sa Iligal na Droga) program. UBAS is a strategic partnership of barangays, the Church and other faith-based organizations, and the DILG for good governance and for common good. MASA MASID program is a convergence of the existing UBAS Barangay Action Teams (BATs) with the member civil society organizations of the barangay-based institutions, particularly the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC), to advocate crime prevention, security, and transparency and accountability in the barangay. Sueno stated that in the community care programs, local resources as well as professionals who will volunteer their services will be tapped for the conduct of seminars and rehab activities.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.