PNP pushes for online recovery and wellness programs for drug dependents

Angel Movido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 25 2021 05:20 PM

MANILA -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) is pushing for the creation of an online recovery and wellness program for drug dependents who have surrendered.

According to PNP Director for Operations Major General Rhodel Sermonia, the PNP is now drafting programs to resume drug rehabilitation programs, as community-based programs in barangays have been suspended since the pandemic in March 2020.

"Nagkaroon ng pandemya, hindi natin nagawa yung recovery and wellness programs dahil nag-iingat po tayo. Pero ngayon, binabalik na natin. 'Yan po ang aming iniikot ngayon sa ating mga chiefs of police,” he said.

Sermonia said the PNP plans to propose a "bubble set-up" for drug dependents who will be undergoing face-to-face recovery programs.

"Meron po tayong tinatawag na bubble, naka-lockdown. 'Yung pag-iingat na uunahin natin, para sa ganun yung drug-cleared barangays makamtan natin. 'Yan po ang pinu-push natin ngayon."

Sermonia, however, did not give the details on the proposed "bubble set-up".

"We have to check on that because every (Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council) has to be functional now, para talagang ma-implement itong recovery and wellness sa bara-barangay," he said.

As of Aug. 31, a total of 22,858 out of more than 42,000 barangays have been declared cleared of illegal drugs.

PDEA chief Wilkins Villanueva said earlier this month it would be a challenge to conduct online drug rehabilitation programs.

“Mahirap eh. kailangan talaga kausap mo. Kasi pag online, I don't know, hindi ako medical practitioner, pero nakikita ko yung actual eh. Malabo yung online. Sa akin, mas madali ka magbabago kung face-to-face ka particularly sa rehabilitation,” Villanueva said.

Meanwhile, Sermonia said the PNP also aims to set up IP (indigenous peoples) desks in police stations, particularly those in rural areas.

"Pinkamalaking threat sa IP natin, maliban sa ilegal na droga sa marijuana sa mountainous area, ay yung panlilinlang sa kanila ng (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army) dahil sila po ay vulnerable sector,” he said.

"Unti-unti po, magtatatag ng IP desk sa bawat police station. 'Yung kanilang issues and concerns, bibigyan ng direct attention ng ating mga kapulisan sa bawat bayan," he added.

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