Village-based rehab attracting more drug users in Oro

TWO barangays in the Cagayan de Oro City, Barangays 25 and 26, have began conducting its barangay-based recovery and reintegration program for the village’s Oplan Tokhang-listed drug personalities.

Barangay 26 chairman Alexander Dela Cerna said they launched the community-based rehabilitation last Tuesday, September 6, wherein only 37 identified drug users took their time to attend one session.

On Friday, September 9, the drug users/participants who attended rose to 42, and the figure he said, is expected to increase in the coming days as the program continues to attract participants particularly, families of drug users.

Dela Cerna said one of the participants was a 15-year-old boy.

"Naay pagabuhaton nga lecture the whole day from Monday to Friday unya naa dayon pagahimuon nga sports activities," Dela Cerna said.

Dela Cerna added the lecturers were volunteers coming from non-government organizations (NGOs) who advocates the campaign against illegal drugs.

The barangay of Dela Cerna have tap business establishments for financial support and the police for the monitoring.

"Sa police, nagpasalamat mi labina kang Chief Inspector Ariel Phillip Pontillas kay grabe iyang suporta. He monitors the attendance of the drug users, kung tan-aw niya nga wala na diha nitunga ang isa ka user, for example, iyang adtuon ug tuktukon pagbalik ug ifollow-up sa balay kung unsay rason nganu dili na gatunga," he said.

Dela Cerna also created an operation similar to Tokhang (Toktok-hangyo) but not to drug users and pushers but to business owners for financial aid.

“Gasaka man gud ang gaapil, this is a good sign however, the barangay funds cannot sustain the needs. Ang amo lang na unta ma push through ang pag-rehab kay kung dili, ang tendency sige lang ta ug balik ug Tokhang ug masayang lang ang effort sa kapulisan,” Dela Cerna said.

“Mag-toktok pud mi sa mga generous owners of business establishments to help us sustain this project, pero willingness ang tabang dapat, dili sad mi mamugos,” he added.

Every after session, the barangay provides one kilo of rice to each drug user as way to motivate them to come back the next day, Dela Cerna said.

The Barangay Council planned to pass a resolution and forward it to the City Council to ask for livelihood programs once the drug users finished the one-month barangay-based rehabilitation program.

“Seryoso baya pud ang mga drug users, magdala gyud sila ug papel ug ballpen while ga-lecture. Mao man ni ang advantage nga sa barangay lang ang rehab kay mamonitor namo sila firsthand. Unta pud ang City Government will provide them livelihood or scholarship programs para tabang sa ila ug dili na gayud makabalik sa bawal na droga,” he said.

The City Government earlier proposed for a barangay-based rehab “to address the congestion of the lone government-owned rehab facility in the city located in Upper Puerto,” City Social Welfare and Development Office head Teddy Sabuga-a said.

Sabuga-a said the community rehabilitation will be facilitated by medical professionals such as social workers and psychologists.
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