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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, October 19, 2016
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200 addicts get
help in Victorias

About 200 surrenderers for drug and substance abuse in Victorias City, Negros Occidental can now be rehabilitated though a barangay-based outpatient program that started yesterday.

"Pag-amlig" is a three-month rehabilitation program of the Victorias City government, the Office of Rep. Alfredo Benitez, and the Philippine National Police-Victorias that will involve conducting a series of module-based treatments in response to President Duterte's OplanTokhang.

There are 495 surrenderers in Victorias, city government records show.

"We want to save our people and we cannot afford to fail in this program and let these individuals go back to using drugs again," Mayor Frederick Palanca said.

The program is divided into three clusters under the supervision of Ramon Escano, Alain Aliño and Power Gene Diaz of FARM Group of Facilities who have been in the rehabilitation advocacy for around two years through their Training of Trainers (TOT).

Escano said this is the first community rehab program in the whole Negros Island, following Cebu.

To facilitate all the surrenderers, TOT conducted two-day training for the volunteers coming from the city to become "rehabilitation coaches" or "addiction specialists" on Sept. 26-27 through psychological education that includes how to handle these individuals.

There are around 100 volunteers from the LGU, NGOs, religious sectors, Barangay Health Workers and policemen who will facilitate the life training program every 5:30 p.m. in the covered courts of each assigned clusters.

Cluster 1 will be composed of 52 individuals from Barangays 1, 2 and 3; 83 individuals from cluster 2 coming from Barangay 6 and 53 for Barangay 9, comprising Cluster 3.

Dino Acuña, Project Coordinator of Pag-amlig, said the program will be simultaneous in every cluster.

The office of Benitez will provide one kilo of rice for every individual who will attend the program every day.

"This a way of helping those drug dependents who cannot afford to go to rehabilitation centers," Acuña said, adding that, through the program, they will bring the recovery and treatment to the communities of Victorias.

Palanca added that the city government and the office of Benitez appropriated P800,000for the program.

"We are now seeking sources of funding for this program in and out of the city, even abroad," Palanca said, adding, "We will not stop until all of them can get away from drug use."

Modules will be a 12 step program made by FGF. In the first month, the program will be focused onself-rediscovery, followed by social and family reintegration and the third month will focus on skills and livelihood training partnered with TESDA and other government agencies of Victorias.*Mark L. Garcia




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