Press Release
September 19, 2021

Dela Rosa: Release DDB rehabilitation funds in full

?The PHP391.290-million proposed budget of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) for 2022 will be submitted to the Senate plenary for consideration after being deliberated upon and getting support from the Senate Finance Subcommittee C headed by Senator Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa who committed to work for the automatic release to the agency of its entire collections by removing the PHP77-million cap.

Dela Rosa, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, told DDB Chairman Catalino S. Cuy and other resource persons who attended the subcommittee's hearing on the agency's budget last September 14 that he would propose a special provision under the DDB budget in the general appropriations measure that would effectively remove the cap.

"As the chairman of this committee, gusto ko lang sana gawin natin na kung pwede, hindi na natin papahirapan itong DDB. What about kung ganito ang gagawin namin dito sa GAA (General Appropriations Act), hindi natin lalagyan ng cap na PHP77 million. Ang ilagay lang natin, itong special provision dito is that kung anong makolekta should be released fully to the agency para wala nang request-request (additional request)...Tanggalin natin itong cap, maggagawa kami ng special provision dito sa GAA na wala nang cap na PHP77 million," he said.

The DDB's Special Account with current P77 million cap is intended for the rehabilitation of drug dependents and the establishment, maintenance, operations and assistance to government-owned or operated drug rehabilitation centers. Fund sources for this account are the yearly collection of 25 percent of the gross receipts from breakage by the Philippine Racing Commission, 10 percent of unclaimed and forfeited sweepstakes and lotto prizes of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and PHP5 million monthly from the national government's share in the income of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.

Despite higher revenue remittance, DDB can only utilize PHP77 million - a funding limitation which has been put in place in the GAA in previous fiscal years, except in 2019, and in the 2022 National Expenditure Program.

As of June of the current year, collections for DDB already amounted to PHP78,581,141.50, including its shares from fines and penalties, as well as licenses.

Dela Rosa said the campaign against illegal drugs is a flagship project of President Duterte that needs the support of the entire government.

"Suportahan talaga natin ito dahil, sige, tinitira tayo ng mga kritiko natin... hindi natin nire-rehabilitate 'yung mga user. Eh, paano tayo makapag-rehabilitate kung walang pondo itong DDB na pantulong sa rehabilitation efforts sa baba? So, kailangan talaga natin suportahan ito. Sana maintindihan n'yo ako. Coming from me, my experience with the drug problem," he said.

In 2019, Dela Rosa filed Senate Bill No. 513 aimed tostrengthen the country's public health approach in the drug abuse prevention by imposing rehabilitation for arrested drug users and allowing voluntary submission of drug dependent to a treatment rehabilitation center without a court order.

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