THE heads of the drug-rehabilitation programs of Caloocan City and Quezon City did their role for the success of their respective anti-illegal drugs campaign, without thinking of any award or recognition from any organization and even from President Duterte, the country’s top antidrugs campaigner.
But the two bagged the very first Lingap Circle Awards from the Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation Alliance (CBDRA) on January 26.
CBDRA recognized the six-month drug-rehabilitation program of Caloocan City’s Community-Assisted Rehabilitation and Recovery Outpatient Training System (Carrots) being managed by the Caloocan Anti-Drug Abuse Council (Cadac).
Cadac and Carrots are both headed by Mayor Oscar G. Malapitan.
In a phone interview, Malapitan said Cadac’s project was solidly supported by the Catholic Church in Caloocan City.
Healing not killing
DURING the graduation rites of the first batch of rehabilitated 30 surrenderees held last year, Malapitan told the audience that the drug problem could be solved through “healing [and] not by killing.”
This idea was Malapitan’s guideline in leading the Cadac, which he got from Italian priest Fr. Luciano Falloni, the parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Camarin in North Caloocan.
The mayor had previously asserted that Falloni managed to convince him that killing is not the right and proper way of addressing the drug problem among the users.
The Catholic Church in Caloocan City solidly supports Carrots, Malapitan pointed out.
Carrots’s 6 steps
THE program is a collective effort of all stakeholders, which means the Catholic Church and the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council helped each other in elevating the anti-illegal drugs concern to the local government unit; development of program that was all about weekly meetings of all stakeholders; training of service providers , which is the role of the Department of Health (DOH) in the project; establishing the service-delivery network or rehabilitation pods that serve as venues for rehabilitation activities like the churches; sustainability, and review and expansion.
In carrying out the six steps, the Catholic Church in Caloocan City, the Malapitan administration, the DOH and families of the drug abusers being rehabilitated closely and relentlessly coordinate help and work together so Carrots would achieve its target of freeing the drug users from the “bondage” of prohibited drugs.
Those who finished the Carrots program received a “Certificate of Completion” given by Malapitan himself.
Impact of mayor’s presence
THE presence of Malapitan during the graduation ceremony had a positive impact on the Carrots graduates, as it showed the mayor is behind them all the way in their quest to become productive citizens of the city anew.
Malapitan said some of the graduates were given jobs to ensure they would go back to normal life.
He added his administration also prepared cooperatives for them to have regular income.
Malapitan expressed happiness when his administration’s Carrots was recognized by CBDRA, telling this journalist in the phone interview that “[n]atutuwa naman kami sa pagkilalang ibinigay sa aming pagsusumikap na matulungan ang mga nalulong sa masamang bisyo.”
Effective, proper management
MALAPITAN stressed that the success of Carrots was the result of the “effective and proper management, and continuous monitoring of all the aspects of the drug-rehabilitation program.”
Malapitan admitted that not all drug dependents would end their wrong habits even after rehabilitation.
“Meron naman talagang user na kahit anong gawin ay hindi na makakawala sa paggamit ng bawal na gamot. Ang mga ganyang tao ay hindi na maaaring ipasok sa drug-rehabilitation program,” Malapitan admitted.
With this, the mayor makes sure the Carrots will continue doing its assignments to the drug addicts in Caloocan City.
He said the city government will definitely continue Carrots even after the end of Duterte’s term on June 30, 2022.
To be continued