Usec. Jonathan Malaya
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is thankful for the opportunity to meet with the Co-Chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Illegal Drugs (ICAD), Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, and brief her on the DILG’s campaign against illegal drugs and hear her thoughts on future steps to combat the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country.
Secretary Eduardo M. Año, together with the heads of all of DILG’s attached agencies, had a long and fruitful talk with the Vice President particularly on the need to synergize, synchronize and harmonize all the efforts of the various ICAD Member-Agencies. There may be perceived differences in so far as the strategies, policies, and programs are concerned but at the end of the day, what binds ICAD together is the commitment to eradicate the drug problem for the sake of present and future generations.
We are grateful that the Vice President has expressed her commitment to support DILG’s programs to fight illegal drugs particularly on the demand-reduction aspect and for expressing support for the Community Based Drug Rehabilitation Program. We likewise appreciate her initiatives to interact and engage with different sectors such as the Church and other faith-based groups which could then tap their huge network and followers to serve as advocates and volunteers in support of the anti-illegal drugs campaign of the administration.
We support her proposal to create a Technical Working Group that will be tasked to study, review, and recommend bills or legislative measures that will further enhance the government’s capacity to fight illegal drugs. Indeed, all amendments to existing laws and policies need to be harmonized and packaged as one when submitted to Congress.
We look forward to more discussions with her and the rest of the ICAD members in reviewing and fast tracking the process of delisting drug surrenderers as well as in securing more funds for community-based drug rehabilitation and improving the capacities of anti-drug abuse councils on the local government level.
We are one with the Vice President in this difficult journey of ending the illegal drugs problem in our country that has destroyed the lives of our youth, destroyed so many families, and shattered the future of so many of our countrymen.
We assure her of the support and cooperation of the DILG and its attached agencies to make her succeed in her task as ICAD co-chair.