Reforming drug users or persons who used drugs (PWUDs) in Surallah, South Cotabato who want to return to the fold of society can now avail of the benefits offered by the Yakap Bayan Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 12 (Soccsksargen).
DSWD-12 representative Vincent John Balmaceda urged stakeholders to actively do their roles in the care program so reforming drug users can succeed in their rehabilitation and rejoin mainstream society.
The program was launched by the DSWD-12 in the municipality recently after a series of meetings and orientations for its implementation.
“We are all in this together,” Balmaceda said.
Surallah is the first and lone local government unit (LGU) in South Cotabato to implement the program.
Municipal social welfare officer Rhoda Leag Catoto has expressed her appreciation to the DSWD for granting their request to implement the program even if Surallah was not initially part of the pilot areas in the region.
Meanwhile, Surallah Mayor Antonio Bendita said he believes the program would lead the drug surrenderers back to the right path.
As a lawyer, Bendita said, everyone, even those who are at fault, deserves to be heard.
“We have to start it right, doing the right thing in the first place so that in the end, we’ll have the right outcome.”
“We have to start it right, doing the right thing in the first place so that in the end, we’ll have the right outcome,” he stressed.
“The Yakap Bayan is vital for drug surrenderers in Surallah who have graduated from the Community-Based Rehabilitation Program.”
Vice Mayor Pinky Divinagracia, likewise, said the Yakap Bayan is vital for drug surrenderers in Surallah who have graduated from the Community-Based Rehabilitation Program.
Divinagracia said the program could also be a good example for other LGUs.
“The Yakap Bayan program could be replicated by other LGUs in the region once it will succeed here in Surallah,” she stressed.
The highlight of the program launch was the signing of the pledge of commitment of all stakeholders headed by the officials of Surallah.
In 2017, the DSWD formulated the Yakap Bayan Framework of Intervention, a cyclical rehabilitation and reintegration framework for the strategic and coordinated provision of services to recovering PWUDs, their families, and communities.
It aims to converge readily available resources from national government agencies, civil society organizations, and faith-based groups to provide former drug users with psychosocial, livelihood, and spiritual services, among others.