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Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo A%uFFFDo

1.2 million drug surrenderers complete rehabilitation

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Almost half of over 1.2 million drug surrenderers are now back to their normal lives after undergoing rehabilitation programs, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said in a report by Philippine News Agency.

“We saw the biggest voluntary surrender of 1,222,363 drug users and personalities which is a feat that has never been seen in the country's history. These drug surrenderers have undergone the Philippine National Police's (PNP) recovery wellness program where 48 percent are now living a normal life far from the perils brought by illegal drugs. The past six years were quick but monumental for the DILG especially in its pursuit towards a safer, more peaceful, and more progressive Philippines,’’ Año said during the pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) Forum of the Security, Peace, and Justice Cluster.

Año cited the PNP and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for their “incessant toil and groundwork’’ which resulted in the declaration of 21,891 out of over 42,000 barangays in the country as drug cleared.

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He noted that during the five-year relentless anti-drug campaign, authorities seized PHP59.14 billion worth of illegal drugs from drug syndicates and arrested 289,622 drug personalities, which include 12,069 high-value targets.

Año reported that 784 drug dens and clandestine laboratories were also dismantled during anti-drug operations.

Año said this proves that the government is committed to both curbing the supply of illegal drugs through law enforcement operations and demand through reformation programs.

Fight vs. crime, corruption

Año also highlighted the Duterte administration’s efficient fight against corruption and all forms of criminality that dramatically improved the country’s peace and order situation.

He cited the consistent downtrend in the number of index crimes like murder, homicide, rape and robbery among others, with theft registering an almost 50 percent decrease in 2020.

“The continuous augmentation of police forces in communities and procurement of equipment likewise contributed to the dwindling crime rate and in realizing the ideal ratio of one police officer for 500 citizens,’’ it added.

He added that since 2017, 17,142 rogue cops were subjected to disciplinary actions and sanctions. The figure includes 906 police officers who were dismissed from the service.

He attributed the government’s anti-criminality success to the concerted efforts of the governors, mayors, barangay captains and other local officials who exhibited full cooperation and support to the enhanced institutions such as the anti-drug abuse councils and peace and orders councils.

Citing the 2020 Gallup Global Law and Order Report, Año revealed that eight out of 10 Filipinos now believe that they are safe and secured with the dramatic decrease of crime volume in the country.

He added that the Philippines is among the top 50 countries with efficient peace and order campaign schemes, along with Australia, New Zealand, Poland, and Serbia.

"The President has repeatedly said he does not want to talk about legacies. Sabi niya, 'ayoko malagay pangalan ko sa poster', basta ginawa niya lang trabaho niya (He said 'I don't want my name published on posters'. As long as he did his job, he's fine) But of course we got feedback from the people. One of these legacies is the participatory governance because in the Duterte administration, the participatory governance cluster was fully utilized and we give premium to their input, our freedom of information initiative and our full disclosure policy," he said.

He added that through the 8888 Citizen's Complaint hotline, the public has a channel to send their complaints or grievances on red tape or corruption in any government agency.

“We mean good governance and ensure basic delivery services to the people. With this so-called legacy, we are able to deliver to our people. Ngayon tinatamasa na ng mga Pilipino ang bunga nito at kumpyansa sila sa pulisya at mas naging panatag sa kanilang araw araw na pamumuhay (Now the Filipinos are enjoying its fruits and they trust the police and they are at peace with their everyday lives),’’ Año stressed.

Pandemic response

Meanwhile, Año said the DILG continues to guide local government units (LGUs) to ensure that the policies of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) are followed to prevent the spread of the virus.

He said Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs) are in coordination with the local Covid-19 task forces in addressing the pandemic woes.

To assist in intensifying the country’s contact tracing efforts, Año said 50,880 contact tracers were hired by the DILG which led to 1,996,335 close contacts "successfully traced and assessed".

Año also disclosed that 97 barangay captains were charged before the Office of the Ombudsman, 89 of whom were preventively suspended due to Social Amelioration Program (SAP)-related anomalies.


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