Compilation of Philippines NationwideDrug Rehabilitation Efforts Most People Missed or Failed to See

How to rehabilitate addicts in the Philippines’ vicious drug war?

There are close to 1,100 patients at Manila's Bicutan Rehabilitation Center, double its maximum capacity. Credit:Brennan Weiss/PRI

Not far from the headquarters of the Philippine National Police in greater Manila, a tall concrete gate obscures the sight of a drug rehabilitation center called Bridges of Hope.It’s safe and secluded, tucked away down a narrow residential side street overflowing with lush greenery. Inside, the center’s senior program director grimaces in frustration. It hasn’t been easy treating addiction since the start of the drug war.“The reasons for the death of drug addicts have suddenly changed,” says Guillermo Gomez, the director. “It’s not death because of addiction. It’s death because of the environment. Even if you fix him and he gets well, he still might die.”At least 7,000 suspected drug users and pushers have been killed by police or unidentified vigilantes since July. Some of the victims include those who have voluntarily surrendered to the authorities. Many fear that implicating yourself might actually put you more at risk.This premonition has reverberated throughout the country’s rehab centers, where drug addicts have sought refuge in hopes of escaping a seemingly inevitable death on the streets. Confronting addiction is no longer the primary motive for drug dependents to enter into rehab, according to Gomez. It’s to guarantee safety.“There’s a struggle when we have to explain to families that we’re not cold storage here,” Gomez says.

When patients vent their fears of reintegrating into society (a common occurrence), Leabres listens.

“We let it flow so they can have catharsis,” says Leabres, the chief medical doctor at Bicutan.

“The challenge for therapists now is to shift the thoughts of the patients from being fearful to motivating them to change,” he adds.

One of those patients is Ramon, 43, whose name has been changed to protect his identity. Ramon surrendered to the police in November after motorcycle-riding men killed one of his friends. At the behest of his concerned mother and wife, he decided to seek treatment. He’s safe now, but still worries about life after rehab.

“When I finish rehabilitation, I hope to get a certification from the PDEA [Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency] to clear my name from the watch list. But even if my name is cleared, I’m still not sure of my safety as long as Duterte is president,” says Ramon.

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Inside Philippines drug rehab centres: Photos show strict regimes of 'Recovering Champions'

The country has just 44 treatment facilities, all of which have a combined capacity of a mere 7,200, according to the chairman of the countries drug policy-making body, Benjamin Reyes. The centres can range from anything to support groups, led by the clergy in the predominately Catholic nation, to costly private treatment programs, charging hundreds of dollars a month, putting them out of reach of most Filipinos. Reuters photographer Erik de Castro visited several of these facilities, documenting the daily, and often strenuous routines which people must go through, with the hope of ridding themselves of the drug habit.

In Olongapo, a city of 220,000 three hours north of Manila, drug users are taught carpentry skills and paid 5,000 Philippine pesos (£84, $103) a month to build wooden coffins. The caskets, made of simple plywood and painted white, are provided to the poorest families in the city who are unable to afford funeral services, government officials said.

The Philippines government has recently announced plans for a new 'mega' rehab centre, which will be able to treat up to 10,000 patients – more than the 44 facilities currently available combined. The centre will be located in a military camp north of Manila, and will be funded by Chinese real estate developer Huang Rulan. The government has said it is planning four more mega treatment centres elsewhere in the country. Until then, local governments and private centres are trying to fill in the gaps.


Over 1,500 drug surrenderees finish rehab program

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, May 15 (PIA) -- At least 1,590 drug surrenderees in this province, have successfully completed the government-initiated community-based rehabilitation program, according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Louela Tomas, PDEA information officer, said the surrenderees who completed the rehabilitation program are now ready to reintegrate into the community and to live a meaningful and productive lives.

"We will continue to monitor these reformed surrenderees even if they have already graduated from the drug rehabilitation program," Tomas said.

She added that PDEA, in cooperation with the Department of Health (DOH) and other concerned government agencies, continues to assist different local government units in their efforts to rehabilitate drug surrenderees.

Since the government started its intensified campaign against illegal drugs, at least 10,000 drugs users and pushers in the province surrendered themselves to authorities.

Based on PDEA records, of the 820 barangays in Cagayan, 648 were drug-affected while only 22 were declared as drug-cleared by the regional oversight committee. (ALM/OTB/PIA-2 Cagayan)


More than 200 drug surrenderers graduate from PNP’s rehab program

More 200 drug surrenderers who graduated from the SIPAG program of the Philippine National Police (PNP) have marched in Tanauan, Batangas.

At least 204 individuals from the three barangays of Tanauan City, Batangas who were former drug dependents are now looking forward to a new life.

They are among the first batch of surrenderers who have completed the three-month rehabilitation and reformation program in the province.

The moral recovery and spiritual renewal, in particular, have been the focus of the program for their continuous reformation.

Alongside this, they were also given a certificate of clearance so that they can be removed from the drug list of the PNP.

TESDA is also willing to provide them training so that they can find jobs and be useful citizens of the community.


368 complete community-based drug rehab program

A total of 368 persons with substance use disorder (PSUDs) completed the Community Based Drug Rehabilitation under the city government’s Integrated Participatory Community Building Program (IPCB) as of February of this year while 126 were turned-over to the Family Life Resource Centers (FLRCs) for Phase II of rehabilitation.

This was revealed in a report of the city social welfare and development office (CSWDO) which spearheads the program during the recent quarterly meeting of the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council chaired by city administrator Carlos Canilao representing Mayor Mauricio Domogan at City Hall.

The report states that majority of PSUDs who finished their rehab program under the IPCB are self-employed if not regularly employed prior to surrender where 55 availed of the city’s self-employment assistance.

CSWDO head Betty Fangasan said PSUDs are active in church services and other social action activities and have become active co-facilitators in the FLRCs and involved in the city’s advocacy on drug prevention in barangays and schools.

She added that minor PSUDs continue their schooling while out of school youths are involved in youth activities conducted by her office and the barangays.

PSUDs also attend maintenance sessions conducted by the Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Serenity in the Steps.

Fangasan assured that PSUDs are continuously assisted by the CSWDO, FLRCs and barangays for appropriate services needed.

For the second quarter of this year, her office will coordinate with the barangays and Baguio City Police Office for the conduct of modular sessions  for PSUDs who were not able to finish their sessions or have not attended any.-gaby keith


Ex-addicts complete rehabilitation program in Cavite and Rizal

Thirty-five former drug addicts finished the community-based drug rehabilitation program of the local government of Bacoor City, Cavite.

From 160 drug surrenderers, only 35 were able to complete the 45-day rehabilitation program.

The 35 graduates have undergone physical and spiritual development trainings and livelihood seminars.

To jump start their new lives, the graduates are given jobs and livelihood starter kits.

Bacoor City Mayor Lani Mercado-Revilla said, “They are given certificate of completion and scholarships for TESDA. Some of them are also given jobs.”

Bacoor City also plans to launch a hotline for drug users who want to turn over a new leaf.

Meanwhile, 177 drug surrenderers have completed on Friday an eight-month community treatment and rehab program that began in July 2016 in Tanay, Rizal.

Meanwhile, surrenderers who were not able to finish the rehabilitation will be visited again.

Diosdadao Baquiran of Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council said, “Those who were not able to finish the community based treatment and rehab,  will be visited at their homes by other surrenderers who will be the ones to convince them to undergo the said program.”

The local government of Rizal also vows to provide jobs to the graduates who have also undergone vocational skills as part of the said program.

Tanay Mayor Rex Tanjuatco said, “Sa mga nakatapos naman sa kanilang unit, walang trabaho [ For those who finished the program but don’t have job], we have cash for work. If they have carpentry skills, I.T., we have jobs for them provided by the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development).” — Bernard Dadis | UNTV News & Rescue


574 complete Quezon City’s drug rehab program

A total of 574 drug surrenderees have completed the community-based drug rehabilitation program of the Quezon City government.

Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte yesterday led the ceremony for the fourth batch of graduates who finished the rehabilitation modules and counselling.

Belmonte, head of the city’s anti-drug abuse and advisory council, said the latest batch brought to 2,840 the total number of drug surrenderees who underwent rehabilitation.

She urged those who completed the rehab program not to use drugs again.

“I salute you and admire your families for their commitment to support you,” Belmonte said. “I will continue to support you in your determination to change.”

The vice mayor said they would help the former drug dependents find jobs.

They will be given training programs by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Belmonte said.

She said they would continue to monitor those who finished the drug rehabilitation program to ensure a low relapse rate.

Around 16,000 drug users in Quezon City have surrendered to authorities since 2016.


3,989 surrenderers finish drug rehabilitation in Cordillera

BAGUIO CITY-- The Police Regional Office Cordillera (PROCOR) has recorded a total of 3,989 finishers of the community-based and Philippine National Police-initiated drug rehabilitation program in the Cordillera, the PROCOR Information Officer said Monday.

Police Supt. Pelita Tacio said this was after 132 more drug surrenderers in Buguias, Benguet completed the ”Sinag sa Pagbabago” of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the local government unit of Buguias’ “GILAS 2” Recovery Wellness Program (RWP) on Nov. 15.

There are 11,236 drug surrenderers registered in the Cordillera from the start of the term of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Since 2016, most of the surrenderers have undergone and completed the community-case drug rehabilitation program and the PNP-initiated drug rehabilitation.

Of the 3,989 finishers, some 1, 468 came from the province of Benguet and the remainder from Baguio and five other provinces comprising the region.

Aside from the finishers, there are 2,091 currently undergoing the recovery and wellness program in the different provinces of the region.


11 PWUDs complete DATRC drug rehab program

ALABEL, Sarangani (February 7, 2020) – Eleven male clients of SOCCSKSARGEN Drug-Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (DATRC) in barangay Kawas are now declared drug-cleared and are candidates for graduation this March after having completed the six months rehabilitation program.Dr. Raime Rosario Galang, Medical Officer III, and officer-in-charge of the facility said the 11 were among the 20 clients of the first outpatient batch who started the rehab program on September 4, 2019. The other nine are still subject for further evaluation.“We have several services rendered for them such as therapeutic community modality, individual and family counselling, case conference, scheduled home visitations, spiritual and values formation, and community services which include coastal clean-up and tree planting activities,” said Galang on February 6 during the joint provincial and municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council (ADAC) meeting.

It was in December 2018 when the P350-million China-funded drug rehabilitation center was inaugurated and turned over to the local government.Health Secretary Francisco Duque said the project was established “to address the need for more rehabilitation centers for Filipino PWUDs or persons who used drugs”.


China-donated drug rehab center in Agusan inaugurated

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur--- The Department of Health inaugurated on Monday the China-donated P370 million 150-bed capacity Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Center here, the second and largest in Caraga region. The modern rehab center is designed with Chinese engineering concepts with eight buildings that houses male and female dormitories, staff house, administration and admission building, visitors pavilion, subsidiary building, covered court and guard house. Its  6, 669 square meters facilities that sits inside the 3,000 square meters land area donated by the provincial government of Agusan del Sur will cater at least 100 male and 50 female patients considered to have been under severe condition on addiction to prohibited drugs. Completed just for a year, the rehab center project were manned by 35 Chinese engineers and technical men and 320 Filipino workers. Expected to be operational by September, the drug rehab center will be initially manned by some 50 doctors, medical specialists, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses and other health workers with a monthly operational budget of P12 million. Dr. Jose Llacuna, Caraga regional director the Department of Health, said job hiring and training of applicants  for some available jobs is ongoing. Jin Yuan Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in the country, said the rehab center is  the first turnkey government to government project completed under the Duterte administration. Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza, a self-confessed former drug addict who broached the Substance Use Recovery and Enlightenment (SURE) program said the Residential Treatment and Rehabilitation Center inside the 401st Army Brigade camp and the Outpatient Drop-in Center at the provincial capitol grounds which are both operated by the provincial government would be absorbed at the new DOH drug rehab facility. “The dream has come into reality. It took the will of the people of China and the Philippines to achieve this,” Plaza said. He said local residents of the province will be priority, however, other patients from the neighboring provinces in Caraga and in Compostela Valley can avail of the center’s services. “Everyone has the right for a better future , even with our Persons Who Use Drugs (PWUDS) , so let us not fail them,” Llacuna said.


PROJECT WATCH: Duterte inaugurates largest drug rehab center in Mindanao in Malaybalay City

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte recently led the inauguration and turnover ceremony of the P700 million Northern Mindanao Wellness and Reintegration Center (NMWRC) located in Casisang, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon. The 5-hectare facility is the first of its kind in the country and conforms to international standards of treatment and management of drug dependents. It is also considered the largest in Mindanao and will provide holistic approach in treating drug-dependent patients with proper medical, therapeutic, and social interventions.

A modern rehabilitation center with no bars or detention walls, the NMWRC is equipped with modern sports facilities and equipment including a gymnasium, with wide rooms, halls, and landscaped gardens and accommodate close to 600 patients on a six-month treatment cycle.


Duterte inaugurates P500-million drug rehab center in Bukidnon

(Eagle News)—President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, Aug. 3, inaugurated a P500-million treatment and rehabilitation center for victims of illegal drugs in Bukidnon.

The Northern Mindanao Wellness and Reintegration Center sits on a five-hectare land donated by the City of Malaybalay in Barangay Casisang.

The center, which can house 500 to 800 patients, is a donation from the Friends of the Philippines Foundation, headed by Mr. Jose Kho, and Kinming (Xiamen) Real Estate Co., Ltd., a press release said.

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri said the NMWRC will combine detoxification, rehabilitation, sports and recreation, education and skills training for the patients.

Also present during the inauguration were Kho, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año and Zubiri, among others.With PIA


Duterte inaugurates rehabilitation centres

According to local daily Philippines Star, the 100,000 sq. metre facility can accommodate 10,000 patients and is thought to be the first large-scale drug rehabilitation centre in the country.

Currently there are just 44 centres in the country catering to about 10,000 patients in total, the government said in a statement.

Funding was provided by Chinese real estate tycoon Huang Rulun, who donated $281 million for the construction of two drug rehabilitation centres in the country.

More than 5,600 people have died in the crackdown since the president took office on June 30.


Duterte inaugurates mega rehab in Fort Magsaysay

With the sudden influx of drug users surrendering for treatment and rehabilitation, the government understands that there are concerns on the availability and preparedness of facilities to accommodate these patients.

Now on its second phase, President Duterte’s drug campaign aims at rehabilitation.

At least four major drug rehabilitation centers are in the pipeline to be built this year, if not early next year: two in Luzon and one each in the Visayas and Mindanao.

One of them is the Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (DATRC) in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija. It is the first mega drug rehabilitation facility to be opened under the Duterte government.

The DATRC sits on a 10-hectare lot inside the said military camp, which house four identical sections of 2,500-patient capacity each. One section is set to be inaugurated on November 29, 2016.

“This initiative will not only benefit these drug victims whom we want to help and reach out to, but also for the change towards better health outcomes for our country! All for health towards health for all!” Department of Health Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial said.


Duterte asks military to give a hectare of land for rehab facility

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his first State of the Nation Address before the joint session of the 17th Congress Monday, July 25, 2016, in Quezon City, Philippines. AP/Bullit Marquez, File MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has asked the military to allot one hectare of land for the rehabilitation facility of drug dependents to prevent them from returning to their old ways. “I will have to use your (military) camps. It’s only the military who has a vast reservation of land,” Duterte said during a dinner with the Presidential Security Group in Malacañan Sunday night. “I’m just asking for one hectare of property. After all, I surrounded it with barb wire. I will build the rehabilitation facilities,” he added. Duterte said drug addicts would likely commit crimes if they are allowed to roam the streets. “The three million (drug dependents) will hold-up again or kill people because they need the fix for the day. Now, crime has gone down because everybody is afraid,” the president said.



The Department of Health (DOH), together with Senator Cynthia A. Villar, inaugurated the Las Piñas Drug Abuse and Treatment Rehabilitation Center today in  response to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s call to prioritize and synergize efforts to stop drug addiction.

There is a huge gap between drug dependents and treatment facilities thus the need to establish more state-run treatment centers for substance abuse. According to the Dangerous Drug Board (DDB), there are about 1.3 million drug dependents in the country. While 600,000 have surrendered to authorities, the total number of beds in government and private drug rehabilitation centers is only 3,216.

The Rehabilitation Center, with an area of 2,735 square meters and target bed capacity of 300, will address the high influx of surrenderers and help in the process of rehabilitation and reintegration through the effective alignment of services and programs at the community level.

Together with the Department of Interior and Local Government and the DDB, DOH shares the responsibility in creating better communities where drug users are treated and rehabilitated.

“It is important that we sustain the momentum we have established. The DOH is working closely with government agencies and other stakeholders to strengthen our substance abuse prevention and treatment programs to ensure that we leave no one behind,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, concluded.


President Duterte inaugurates drug treatment facility in Nueva Ecija

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the inauguration of the Moscati Meadows Residential Treatment Facility in Barangay San Juan here on Wednesday, February 13.

In his speech, President Duterte hailed the management and staff of the residential drug center for successfully launching the facility which he said would “serve as a haven for the victims of drug abuse.”

“This one-hectare residential addiction treatment center, which targets to accommodate up to fifty patients who will undergo a six-month holistic rehabilitation program, is truly in line with this administration’s efforts to combat the drug menace that has plagued our society for so long,” President Duterte said.

“I am truly glad that through this center, you will help them recover and find their way back to society,” he added.

The Chief Executive noted that the facility’s combination of traditional rehabilitation treatment with non-medical treatment methods would provide holistic care to patients and empower them to become effective drug and alcohol counselors to people suffering the same predicament.

He underscored that the government has made significant headway in its fight against illegal drugs by conducting almost 900 operations in Nueva Ecija alone, leading to more than a thousand arrests.

Duterte cited that in 2018, the Department of Health Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers have also provided more than 4,400 in patient services and 4,300 outpatient services, with more than 3,500 patients completing the primary care program.

“This event is very timely as we intensify our efforts to ensure a safe and progressive future for all Filipinos, especially the youth,” he said.

“By reforming drug dependents, we do not only effectively combat this scourge, but also give our kababayans a chance to start productive lives anew with their families and loved ones,” he added.

President Duterte then encouraged all Filipinos to actively participate in nation-building by supporting the administration in its campaign against illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption.

“With our firm commitment and solidarity in this important fight, I have no doubt that we will be able to rebuild and strengthen families that were once threatened by this menace. Together, let us keep our communities and country safe, secure, and peaceful,” he said.

Prior to his speech, the President also led the unveiling of the marker of the drug treatment facility accompanied by its founder Dr. Sarah Joy Ruiz Molleston.

He also inspected the facility and briefly interacted with some locals present in the area. ### (PND)


Duterte inaugurates biggest drug rehab center in Mindanao

President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday renewed his commitment to pursue his war on drugs as he inaugurated the biggest drug rehabilitation center -- a product of the China-Philippines relations “at its best.”

“So I focus on crimes and drugs. I said, 'I will stop drugs,'” Duterte said in his speech at the inauguration of the Northern Mindanao Wellness and Reintegration Center (NMWRC) in Malaybalay, Bukidnon.

“I have raised the matter of drug contamination as a security threat to the country. It is a security threat to the country,” he added.

Chinese-owned Friends of the Philippines Foundation (FPF) has financed the construction of the NMWRC that will serve as rehabilitation and skills training center for drug dependents.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque thanked FPF founder Jose Kho for donating the PHP500-million NMWRC, which can house 500 to 800 drug dependents.

“Now the foundation that built the center not only donated the money but also invested time and energy in the design, quality, construction of the rehabilitation center, making this not only the best in the Philippines but also one of the best in Southeast Asia,” Roque said.

Upon completion, he said the FPF will donate PHP13 million yearly to support the wellness center's operation.

Roque also expressed gratitude to the Chinese government for supporting the Philippines’ anti-drug campaign.

“We would also like to thank Chinese President Xi Jinping. Under the leadership of President Xi and President Duterte, the relationship between the Philippines and China has now entered the best level in history and will continue to be even better,” he said.

He said Philippines-China relations is at its renaissance and at its best.

“And this wellness center is in fact the evidence that this cooperation can in fact bear fruits as in fact we are witness today to a fruition of this new friendship between China and the Philippines,” Roque said. (PNA)


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