‘Progress of wellness camp graduates to be monitored’

THE progress of 38 drug surrenderers in Negros Occidental who completed the seven-day wellness camp at the Philippine Army’s Camp Major Gerona in Murcia town will be monitored.

Second Lieutenant Ma. Revekka Roperos, public information officer of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, said the local governments and the police will check the development of the 38 moderate drug users after they graduated Saturday from the week-long program held from August 21 to 27.

Of the 38, 11 were from Bago City; 10, from Kabankalan City; seven, from Hinigaran; six, from San Carlos City; and four, from La Carlota City.

After the program, the “improvement” of participants can be observed, Roperos said, but they now have to face the challenge of how to avoid illegal drugs after returning to their respective communities.

The wellness camp included leadership training, physical tasks, spiritual activities, counseling, and lectures. The schedule for the next batch has yet to be set.

The technical working group headed by the Provincial Government is set to meet this Wednesday to evaluate the program, Roperos said.

Expenses for the wellness camp are shouldered by the provincial government sourced from its P5-million allocation for the anti-drug campaign.

More than 22,000 drug users and pushers have surrendered in Negros Island Region.

On August 8, the first outpatient drug rehabilitation program in the region kicked off in Bayawan City, Negros Oriental.

The outpatient program, which will run for 8 to 12 weeks, costs P2,500 for every drug patient. The initiative was proposed by Negros Oriental Third District Representative Arnulfo Teves, a reformed drug dependent.

The same program also kicked off in the Silay City on August 15 and in Talisay City on August 22.
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