MANILA—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Monday extended its well wishes and support to the first batch of drug surrenderers who graduated from the Ifugao Reflection Camp (IRC) last month at the Ifugao Shrine.
“We congratulate the graduates for their persistence to improve their own condition and those of their own families. We congratulate all of the families for their relentless support and understanding. We hope that you continue to empower yourselves to become better and productive citizens of this country,” said DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo.
A total of 109 graduates composed of 104 men and five women complied with the requirements of the community-based rehabilitation program.
They received their certificates of completion and are now waiting for referrals for their livelihood training and other necessary assistance.
The requirements of the program included staying six days per month for six consecutive months at the IRC; and engaging in community integration for three weeks every month for six months.
Present in the event were DSWD Assistant Secretary Anton Hernandez, DSWD Assistant Secretary Lorraine Marie Badoy, and Assistant Secretary Aurora Ignacio from the Office of the President.
The IRC is an inter-agency project of the DSWD with the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), the Department of Health (DOH), the Provincial Anti-drug Abuse Council (PADAC), the Municipal Anti-drug Abuse Council (MADAC), and the Barangay Anti-drug Abuse Council (BADAC) for former drug dependents. It is one of the few institutions that specializes on community-based rehabilitation programs for drug surrenderers in the country.
It provides aftercare services such as medical and health assistance, spiritual counselling and psychosocial interventions, and capability building and skills training to assist former drug dependents to be able to defend themselves from illegal drugs and become productive citizens.
Community programs for drug surrenderers
Meanwhile, the Department, through the Special Concerns Unit of the Office of the Secretary, continues to promote the replication of the IRC in other provinces around the country.
“We have been fighting tooth and nail for Ifugao to be a national model for drug rehabilitation. A model that is universally accepted by our culture and nuances as Filipinos,” said Hernandez.
Taguiwalo also emphasized the need to support the recovery process of drug surrenderers.
“This administration has always been clear that it wants to help drug surrenderers by providing them with programs and opportunities to contribute productively to our society,” she said.