- Written by RIO Christine S. Palma
- Category: News and Updates
- Published: 08 February 2017
- Hits: 866
ILOILO CITY - Graduation ceremony has been conducted for the 207 former drug dependents who have successfully completed their three-month rehabilitation sessions and activities under the Iloilo City Government’s Community-based Rehabilitation Program. Drug surrenderers received their certificate during their graduation held at the Department of Education (DepEd) Diamond Jubillee Hall on January 12, 2017.
The graduation was not the end of the change to come among the former drug dependents who chose to start a new life free of the substance. The graduates will undergo another three months of skills training at the Technical Institute of Iloilo City (TIIC), a technical-vocational school run by the city government in coordination with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
“We will provide them with trainings and livelihood assistance depending on what they choose such as carpentry, welding, food preparation, etc.” said Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.
Dr. Bernabe Caspe, City Health Officer also said that the rehab program will continue. The graduates still have to report weekly for the after-care services like random drug testing and counselling. The community change centers where the rehabilitation is conducted are manned with medical practitioners like doctors, psychologists and nurses. There are also volunteers from the religious groups to help in the values formation of the drug dependents as part of working out on their hope to change.
Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog called on the other drug dependents to take advantage of the rehabilitation program which is offered for free.
“Soon there will be another batch of drug dependents that will be rehabilitated. There are already districts that have a list of new batch. This will continue as long as there are surrenderers,” said Mabilog.
The graduation was also graced with the presence of other distinguished guests namely DILG Asst. Regional Director Maria Calpiza J. Sardua; Heads of religious institutions lead by Rev. Msgr. Meliton B. Oso, PC which among others composes the Ugnayan ng Barangay at mga Simbahan(UBAS) Technical Working Group and Pastor Joeven B. Labaña representing the religious volunteers; PDEA Regional Director Gil T. Pabilona; ICPO Director Senior Supt. Remus Zacarias Canieso; and PNP Director Chief Supt. Jose L. Gentiles. City Councilors namely Jeffrey P. Ganzon, Inday Lee Perla Zulueta and Jay G. Treñas III who delivered the message of Congressman Jerry P. Treñas expressed their utmost support by gracing also the event with their presence.
The community-based rehabilitation program of Iloilo City serves as an inspiration and a replicable program for other local government units being the first in the region as said by Mariecelle B. Zamora, DILG Local Government Operations Officer and confirmed by Mayor Mabilog during the press conference which followed after the graduation.
The P7-million worth rehabilitation program dubbed as “Crossroads” was conceived when President Duterte’s war on drugs brought about 2,400 drug users to surrender. The city government was challenged then to launch the program on September 2016 where the community-based rehab centers were established in the city’s seven districts./RIO Christine S. Palma, DILG6