Baguio pursues after-care program for drug surrenderers

BAGUIO CITY— Through consolidated efforts from the local government, national government agencies and the private sector, the 2,380 drug surrenders in the city are continuously being assisted to fully rehabilitate them from illegal drug use.

Florecita Tul-an of the Office of the City Social Welfare and Development (OCSWD), during Monday’s flag raising ceremony at city hall, said that “since the start of the war on drugs of President Rodrigo Duterte, the city through the OCSWD was able to establish a community-based rehabilitation program for the drug surrenderers.”

She noted that of the 2,380 surrenderers, 46 are minors.

The city’s drug rehabilitation program, according to Tul-an, started with the Baguio Emergency Response to Addiction which evolved to Integrated Participatory Community Building Program and now being implemented with the help of government organizations, non-government organizations and faith-based groups working together for the rehabilitation of the drug surrenderers.

She said that aside from rehabilitation, after-care services are also provided, to include  self-employment assistance, food aid, financial assistance through aid to individual in crisis situation, participatory leadership development training, counseling services and community volunteer resource development.

The surrenderers were also provided referrals for medical assistance, emergency shelter assistance and referral to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and Alternative Learning System, aside from other practical skills trainings to allow them to move forward in preparation to living a normal life without illegal drugs.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan, meanwhile, urged all sectors in the city to continue contributing to the eradication of the illegal drug problem.

He recalled that at the start of President Duterte’s massive anti-drug campaign, the city government conducted a mandatory drug testing of all officials and employees to first cleanse its backyard of the drug problem.

Domogan said “those who came out positive have undergone the community rehabilitation program and I was told that they are now part of the resource persons helping the others who are undergoing rehabilitation.

The mayor urged workers in the city to stay away from illegal drugs and help those who are being rehabilitated to finish the program and be able to return back to normal lives free of illegal substances.