Pres. Duterte signs EO establishing rehab centers for drug dependents

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Executive Order No. 04 providing for the establishment and support of drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation centers (DATRCs) across the country.

Under the EO signed last Oct. 11, an Inter-Agency Task Force will be created to oversee the establishment of the DATRCs primarily to help drug dependents who surrendered to authorities amid the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.

The task force will be chaired by the secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), with the health secretary as co-chair and secretaries of social welfare and budget, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director general, and a representative of the Office of the President as members.

To address the congested rehab centers, the task force shall establish DATRCs in the available space of military reservations, subject to the approval of the memorandum of agreements between and among concerned agencies.

The EO also encourages all departments, agencies and instrumentalities of the government to provide support and assistance in establishing DATRCs.

The initial funding shall be sourced from the appropriations of the members of the task force.

The functions of the task force include:

— Determine the type, capacity and suitable locations of the DATRCs with the long-term goal of having at least one center in every province;

— Establish the needed DATRCs and provide support for their operations with the authority to call upon any concerned agencies for assistance;

— Enjoin the cooperation of local government units (LGUs) in the establishment and support of the DATRCs; and

— Issue relevant guidelines for the effective implementation of the EO.

For the first three months of the intensified campaign against illegal drugs of President Duterte, more than 700,000 drug dependents have surrendered themselves to authorities. Jelly Musico/