Province holds barangay-based drug treatment interventions

To help local village officials in its difficulty in handling the rehabilitation program for drug surrenderers, the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office (CPADAO) held a series of workshops, under its community-based treatment program, using a multi-sectoral approach in crafting an effective barangay–based intervention, CPADAO Chief Ivy Durano-Meca said.

Meca said that with the growing number of surrenderers in the province, there’s an pressing need to conduct trainings that would to help equip the barangay officers with the technical knowledge in dealing with the unforeseen consequences of the anti-drug campaign initiated by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“The workshop will provide the LGUs a framework that can serve as basis in formulating their own interventions and strategies in the treatment and monitoring of surrenderers,” Meca said.

With the President Duterte‘s order suspending the Philippine National Police (PNP) drug raid operations, Meca earlier said the province’s anti-illegal drugs operation will continue.

Multi-sectoral approach

In crafting interventions, Meca said they (CPADAO) utilized the multi-sectoral approach of the PNP which involves profiling and assessing the drug surrenderers.

After the profiling, Meca said that surrenderers will then undergo the physical and medical exam and detoxification. Surrenderers will proceed with psychiatric diagnosis before they will be placed under a program that involves alternative activities, skills training, education and counseling, Meca said.

The CPADAO treatment program will run up to six months. Once the program is completed, Meca explained that drug surrenderers will be assessed and then made to undergo aftercare services before being reintegrated into the mainstream.

As of January 2017, the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) has reported a total of 50,000 drug surrenderers in the province of Cebu.

“That’s why I’m inviting all stakeholders in the LGUs, starting with the mayor, chief of police, head of the municipal health officers, Association of Barangay Captains president to attend the workshop,” Meca said.

San Fernando Mayor Lakambini Reluya said the workshop serves as a valuable venue for those barangays that are facing difficulty in devising their own interventions.

“We come here looking for inputs and we find the answers to our questions. We already have our own program but we want to improve it based on the framework presented to us by CPADAO,” Reluya said.

In 2016, San Fernando’s Panadtaran village placed second in the Sugbo Kontra Druga (Sukod), a program that awards top-performing cities, municipalities and barangays in its campaign against the illicit drug trade.

Financial support

Retche Fiel, president of the Association of Barangay Captains in Sibonga town, noted that among the obstacle they have encountered in implementing the intervention program for drug surrenderers is the lack of funds.

“We hope the province could help us with the budget needed to implement the project since the barangay does not only lack of skilled personnel but also in short of funds,” Fiel said.

Fiel, however, said the free training is a first step in making the project work, especially in responding to the needs of the growing number of drug surrenderers.

The next seminar, organized by the Provincial Health Office and Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, is set on Feb. 14 to 16 for stakeholders in barangay and town officials of Cebu’s second district.

The CPADAO’s three-day seminar, held last Feb. 7 to Feb. 9, was participated by towns and cities of the first district, including Talisay City, Minglanilla, City of Naga, San Fernando, Carcar City and Sibonga.-30- (Kelvin Canizares)

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