Press Release
February 17, 2021

Rehab Centers and ADACs necessary in whole-of-nation approach of war on drugs - Dela Rosa

Senator Ronald 'Bato' Dela Rosa on Tuesday conducted a public hearing aimed at institutionalizing the establishment of drug rehabilitation centers and Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (ADACs) in the country to complete the whole-of-nation approach of the Duterte administration's war on illegal drugs.

In presiding over the hearing under the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs as chairman, Dela Rosa underscored the relevance of a two-fold approach in instilling discipline on erring individuals including drug dependents - correction and rehabilitation.

"When our children make mistakes, do we immediately condemn them and call them hopeless? Definitely not. Being a father myself, I have long taught myself to extend my patience for as long and as far as I can, while at the same time making sure that my children learn their lesson and do better," Dela Rosa said.

"It is clear, then, that the necessary approach to discipline must always be two-fold: first, correction, and second, rehabilitation. We do not stop with merely instilling a sense that what was done is wrong, because we must also take steps to teach what is right," he added.

Dela Rosa, who also served as the first chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) of the Duterte administration and architect of the government's war on drugs, reiterated that during his term, more than a million drug dependents surrendered as a result of the its successful implementation.

He added that the country's perennial problem on illegal substance is not only a public order concern but should also be treated as a public health problem.

"Hindi maitatanggi na ang salot na droga ay hindi lamang 'public order' problem, kundi isa ring malaking 'public health' problem...Kinokonsidera rin ng United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime na isang global problem ang drug abuse na kailangan nating tugunan," Dela Rosa explained.

"Katulad ng paglaban natin sa COVID-19, kakailanganin ang bawat miyembro ng komunidad para labanan ang ilegal na droga. We need all the help we can get, ika nga," he continued.

Dela Rosa, meanwhile, commended the concerned government agencies for recognizing the efforts of local communities towards fighting the drug problem.

"Alam niyo, nakaka-encourage iyan, malaking bagay iyan eh. Sa atin dito sa taas at the national level, medyo hindi natin masyadong mapapansin iyan. Pero doon sa lower level lalo na barangay to barangay, na-awardan mo yung barangay na iyan na maganda yung performance ng kanilang barangay anti-drug abuse council (BADAC) or kanilang anti-drug campaign program ay meron nang domino effect iyan sa ibang barangay kasi mag-aspire din yung ibang barangay na magkaka-award," Dela Rosa said.

The former top cop also asked the concerned government agencies if the remaining 33% of Barangays in the country that are not yet drug free based on the latest data from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will be cleared before the end of President Rodrigo Duterte's term should the bills on the Drug Rehabilitation Centers and ADACs be passed into law soon.

The representatives of PDEA DILG, and DDB informed Dela Rosa that they are optimistic that this is doable. The senator welcomed the agencies' enthusiastic response.

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