FORTY out of the more than 100 identified drug personalities in Barangay Estefania, Bacolod City voluntary surrendered to the authorities Sunday.
Village chief Jerry Tingson turned-over the drug surrenderees to the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (Cadac) and Senior Superintendent Jack Wanky, officer-in-charge of Bacolod City Police Office, in a program held at the barangay gymnasium.
Tingson said the drug surrenderees were mostly users and some of them were identified as small-time pushers.
“This is the second time that we invited them to surrender,” Tingson said, adding that the first one was through the police’s Oplan Tokhang.
Tingson said the barangay drug-affectation decreased by almost 50 percent after the drug personalities surrendered, which he considered a first step to make their village free from illegal drugs.
The surrenderers were interviewed for profiling and continuous monitoring of their activities after they signified to stop their engagement in illegal drugs.
Lawyer Roselyn Borja, officer-in-charge of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency- Negros Island Region, urged other barangay officials to also conduct the same activity.
The Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (Badac) should be activated to help the law enforcement agencies in the campaign against illegal drugs, Borja said.
Also present at the activity were Councilor Ricardo Tan and Senior Inspector Elmer Bonilla, head of Police Station 4.
Executive Assistant Rodel Parcon, Cadac coordinator, said the surrenderees were screened to determine the degree of their drug dependence.
He added that surrenderees who will be classified as having "moderate drug dependency" can avail of the eight-week outpatient rehabilitation program from Cadac, inclusive of free medicines and supplements.
The City Health Office and the Department of Social Services and Development will be in-charge of these programs. A support service or after-care mechanism will also be put in place to prevent the surrenderers and convicted drug personalities from backsliding.
A livelihood assistance program will also be given to them following the eight-week program, Parcon said.