MANILA—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Tuesday lauded the establishment of the Ifugao Reflection Camp (IRC) in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), saying it looks forward to its replication in other places in the country to help drug dependents.
“Its (IRC) work should be replicated in other provinces by other LGUs (local government units) and social welfare units, in coordination with civil society organizations. The atmosphere in the IRC is very conducive to recovery because the (drug) surrenderers are treated with respect, and they are taught to see their own worth to their families and communities,” said DSWD Assistant Secretary for Special Concerns Jose Antonio Hernandez.
The IRC is a half-way house that enables drug surrenderers to engage in a community-based rehabilitation program. It also provides after-care services that would help them recover and eventually return to their families and communities.
The center is located in an enclosed compound of the old Ifugao Provincial Jail at Tiger Hill in Baguinge, Kiangan, and its work has been initiated by the Social Welfare and Development Office (SWDO).
It provides five types of services — medical assistance; health and fitness therapy; counseling/psychosocial intervention; spiritual counseling; and life skills capability building and referral.
“We want these Filipinos to be able to return to their families and communities and be productive citizens able to contribute to social transformation, even in small ways,” Hernandez explained.
He also noted the importance of the coordination and cooperation of the government’s various partner agencies in providing the main mechanisms and interventions to help the drug users.
These interventions include detoxification (physical fitness exercises and dietary management); biomedical monitoring; behavioral intervention (personality development modules, spiritual counseling); therapeutic community approach; cognitive behavioral therapy and family behavioral therapy; and extension services (drug abuse composite intervention training and drug clearing operations training).
“If and when we provide all these services to drug surrenderers and be consistent in our support to them, the process of their recovery, while admittedly difficult, will not be impossible,” he said, assuring that they will monitor the progress of the surrenderers.
“As time passes and their skills improve, they will become advocates. Their training will focus on disaster preparedness, so they can help empower their respective communities to become more prepared and resilient against disasters. In the end, as they succeed in making a complete recovery, they will be transformed into community leaders who can, for instance, lead disaster response efforts in their communities.”