86 former drug dependents ‘Graduate’ from City Rehab Program
TACLOBAN CITY (CIO) – Eighty six drug surrenderers have graduated from a 6-month Wellness and Recovery program in this City on Thursday, February Eighty-six drug surrenderers have graduated from a 6-month Wellness and Recovery program in this City on Thursday, February 15 where they learned essential life skills and the courage to turn away from their old ways.
The drug surrenderers, who had earlier turned themselves into the police, graduated from the New Beginnings Program – the Community-based Drug Rehabilitation Program of Mayor Cristina G. Romualdez in coordination with other government agencies.
New Beginnings Focal Person Dr. Gloria Fabrigas thanked Mayor Romualdez for her vision that resulted in the implementation of the first holistic drug rehab program in Region 8.
Fabrigas also encouraged the drug surrenders to be an advocate of the Program in their respective barangays, while reminding them to shun the “gateway behaviors” of drinking and smoking to avoid being tempted again to substance and drug abuse.
Coming from 15 barangays, the drug surrenderers underwent several Recovery Modules, coaching and therapeutic sessions handled by trained Doctors and Nurses of the City Government. Lectures on Basic Life Support and First Aid, the prevention of diseases and promotion of healthy lifestyle were also attended by the drug surrenderers.
One hundred fifty-six Life Coaches from different faith-based organizations exposed the former drug dependents to different discussions on values formation, spiritual healing and restoration to help them assimilate back into their communities.
Meanwhile, Tacloban City Police Office (TCPO) Director Police Senior Superintendent Rolando Bade advised the surrenderers to apply what they have learned from the drug rehab program and not to revert back to their old ways, as this will create other problems for their families and the community.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director Edgar Jubay said that the New Beginnings Program was instrumental in the Declaration of Tacloban as a drug cleared city last December 2017 – the first Highly Urbanized City to be declared as such in the Visayas.
All 138 barangays of the City were certified to have met all 14 parameters set by the Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation 3, Series of 2017, such as the non-availability of drug supply, absence of drug den, pusher, and user; absence of clandestine drug laboratory; active involvement of barangay officials in anti-drug activities; existence of drug awareness, preventive education and information; and existence of voluntary and compulsory drug treatment and rehabilitation processing desk.
Aside from the “graduating” surrenderers, there are 507 more individuals currently undergoing rehab program in the City. “New Beginnings” works closely with the MASA MASID program of the Department of Interior and Local Government, and a Technical Working Group: composed among others of the following agencies: the Philippine National Police (PNP), PDEA, Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Technical Education Skills Authority (TESDA). –Henry James Roca