The Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) on Wednesday, June 21, held a public forum on the unified campaign against illegal drugs in Quezon City.

The campaign known as “REHABiNASYON”, a portmanteau of rehabilitation and nation, aims to take a holistic approach in eliminating the country’s drug problem by putting a premium on the rehabilitation of drug surrenderers.

“More than just a national security issue, the drug menace should be treated as a public health concern. In fact, much wider than that. It’s a social concern. A total concern,” Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in his speech.

REHABiNASYON envisions to make the country drug-free to ensure a better future for Filipino families, especially the youth.

“Two major phases are involved in order to achieve this grand scheme. One: To free the Philippines, through police operations, of all elements of illegal drugs,” Abella explained. “Two: To rehabilitate and treat drug dependents, and to give them a future worth looking forward to,” he continued.

Two rehabilitation centers, so far, have been built one each in Nueva Ecija and on Samal Island in Davao del Norte, and eight more are being constructed in various locations nationwide.

REHABiNASYON features three components: #RealNumbers, #RealSolutions, and #RealStories. Under these components, initiatives like information dissemination, treatment of drug dependents, livelihood programs, job security, and alternative modes of development will be reintroduced and implemented across the country.

“We need to move as a people to have a drug-free Philippines. And that is what REHABiNASYON is all about,” Abella said.

Under the supervision of the Office of the President, ICAD was formed on March 6, 2017 by virtue of Executive Order No. 15. The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) serves as the Committee’s chair.

Among those who spoke in the ICAD’s forum were Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, who delivered the welcome remarks; PDEA Director-General and ICAD Chairman Isidro Lapeña; Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial; and Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo. ###PCO-Content