Vice President Maria Leonor ‘Leni’ Robredo has expressed her desire to cooperate and partner with the Catholic Church, and the private sector in providing a faith-based drug rehabilitation program for the massive number of drug users who surrendered, and who were yielded by President Rodrigo Duterte’s ongoing war on drugs.
VP Leni Partners with Catholic Church.
In fact, she has already communicated with the Catholic Church and asked for their help in creating drug rehabilitation programs. She said she already met with Bishop Socrates Villegas, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) about her proposed program.
Leni expressed her strong belief that one of the best ways to help drug users and victims to improve their lives and get on their feet would be to build a safe haven for them through a community-based and faith-based rehabilitation program.
She also said that this is her way of supporting President Duterte’s ongoing campaign against illegal drugs, even though they have different opinions and stances on varied issues, including death penalty and reproductive health.
She also revealed statistics on drug users who surrendered to the authorities. There are about 700,000 drug users who surrendered, but only about 10% are eligible for institutional rehabilitation. This translates to only about 70,000, and leaves the rest without any option.
She takes inspiration from late husband’s program.
In talking about her proposed drug rehabilitation program, she also recalled a program initiated by her late husband, former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo. It was a program that promoted partnership between local parish churches and local community leaders for the delivery of the basic needs of the community.
The program was dubbed as ‘Ugnayan ng Barangay at Simbahan’ (UBAS), and she hoped to emulate the concept of such program, but in a larger scale, for her proposed faith-based drug rehab program.
She also shared that Bishop Socrates Villegas already said that the Catholic Church would be glad to help the government in crafting a community-based drug rehab program for the drug users who surrendered to the authorities.