President Duterte has signed Executive Order No. 4 creating an inter-agency task force for the establishment and support of Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers in the country.
The task force shall be composed of the Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government as chairperson and Secretary of the Department of Health and chairperson of the Dangerous Drugs Board as vice chairpersons.
Members are the Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management, Director General of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and a representative of the Office of the President.
Subject to existing laws, rules, and regulations, the task force shall, among others, determine the type, capacity, and suitable locations of the DATRCs, with the long-term goal of having at least one DATRC in every province. Such determination shall also take into consideration the presence of duly accredited private DATRCs and the availability of community-based rehabilitation programs in the concerned localities.
Meanwhile, Duterte will embark on a six-day state visit to Brunei and China to strengthen bilateral relations with the two nations.
In a press briefing in Malacañang, Foreign Affairs spokesperson Charles Jose said both visits are expected to enhance the country’s friendly relations with the two countries and to assure them that the Philippines will continue to be their partners in the region.
The Chief Executive will be in Brunei from October 16 to 18 and China from October 18 to 21.
In Brunei, the President is expected to hold bilateral talks with His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, on issues of bilateral and regional concern. “It is hoped that during the visit, both leaders could also exchange ideas on how to broaden cooperation,” said Jose.
In China, the President is scheduled to meet with President Xi Jinping. The two leaders are scheduled to witness the signing of a number of memoranda of understanding and agreement on various fields of cooperation between the two countries. (Elena L. Aben)