Social welfare department launches Yakap Bayan program

THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) welcomes drug surrenderers back into the fold of society through its Yakap Bayan program.

DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo explained during the recently held forum dubbed “Rehabinasyon” that Yakap Bayan is a rehabilitation and reintegration program for drug surrenderers which is implemented within the framework of the department’s mandate as the head of the disaster response cluster of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

With DSWD as the lead, Yakap Bayan will be implemented in partnership with different government agencies. The program is composed of graduated interventions which primarily aim to create community leaders out of the former drug dependents.

Under the program, drug surrenderers will be rehabilitated, empowered, and reintegrated within their communities and trained to help assist their communities during disasters.

“Gagawing daluyan ng programa ang mga dating lulong sa droga, upang sila ay makatulong sa pagpapalakas ng response ng mga komunidad sa disaster at bigyan sila ng sense of responsibility and belonging,” Taguiwalo said.

Yakap Bayan also aims to assist drug surrenderers as they turn their lives around and help them become productive members of society.

“Ito din ay paraan para mabura ang stigma dulot ng pagkalulong nila sa droga.”

Yakap Bayan will be implemented in stages with the first six months intended for the rehabilitation of the former drug users.

“Bibigyan sila ng medical at social services kabilang ang detoxification at counseling. Unti-unti na din silang gagawa ng community service sa puntong ito,” Taguiwalo further explained.

After six months, interventions for the reintegration phase will begin which will take around 18 months, with the former drug dependents undergoing skills training for livelihood as well as capacity building especially on disaster response.

As a whole, the Yakap Bayan program intends to help create a safe society for the new generation.

“Tandaan natin na ang mga drug surrenderees ay mga ama, ina, anak, at kapatid din na miyembro ng pamilya at bahagi ng ating komunidad. Sila ay mayroon ding kontribusyon sa pagpapaunlad ng ating bayan,” Taguiwalo further explained.

The Secretary also appealed for support to the Yakap Bayan program
“Sana suportahan natin ang Yakap Bayan at patuloy pa itong i-kampanya para matulungan natin ang mga drug surrenders na mabago at makapag-ambag sa lipunan. Ito ang tema ng Duterte Administration – change is possible.

The war against drugs is not just a war to eliminate illegal drugs but also to assist the drug dependents change and turn a new leaf in their lives.” (PR)
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