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    VP Leni calls for Church, community participation in campaign vs. drugs

    29 November 2017

    Vice President Leni Robredo underscored anew the importance of a community approach in helping drug dependents recover from addiction, calling on the Church and other stakeholders to help in such endeavor.

    VP Leni reiterated that violence is not the key to curbing the problem of illegal drugs in the country, noting that majority of drug users require treatment that can be achieved through the assistance of the community.

    “[M]ula pa po sa umpisa, ito na po iyong pinaglalaban ko: ang pakikipaglaban po na ang paraan sa pagsugpo ng problema sa droga ay hindi karahasan—hindi karahasan ang solusyon—bagkus dapat tingnan iyong mga nalululong sa droga bilang mga biktima na kailangang tulungan,” she said.

    “Pinapakipaglaban po natin, mula pa noong umpisa, na dapat sana iyong mga komunidad ay magkaisa. Kasi hindi po ito problema na kaya ng nalululong, hindi po ito problema na kaya ng pamilya lamang, pero isa itong napakakomplikadong problema, na dapat bawat isa sa atin umako ng responsibilidad,” she added.

    The Vice President issued the said remarks at the graduation ceremony for the Bayang May Ugnayan at Kalinga sa Pamilya Laban sa Droga (BUKAS-PALAD) community-based treatment program for drug dependents. The initiative is led by Ako ang Saklay, Inc., in San Antonio, Nueva Ecija, with the help of various stakeholders, including the church, government agencies, other organizations and individual volunteers, and even the local police.

    During the event, 28 recovering drug users completed the program, which required them to stay in the center for at least 30 to 45 days, in order to undergo rehabilitation, intervention, and skills training.

    They will then be made part of the center’s aftercare program, where Ako ang Saklay volunteers will visit them periodically to monitor their rehabilitation. Three batches, composed of some 300 in-house and out-patient recovering drug users, have graduated from the program.

    In her speech, VP Leni also called on the police and the military to support such endeavors, and help ensure the recovery of former drug dependents.

    “Sa atin pong kapulisan, sa ating kasundaluhan: sa inyo po kami huhugot ng pag-asa,” she said. “Alam po namin na mas marami iyong matitino. Alam po namin na mas marami iyong bukas ang puso sa mga kasama niyo.”

    “Sana po iyong mga graduates po natin dito, tingnan po kayo bilang kakampi, tingnan po kayo bilang tagapagbigay sa kanila ng proteksyon. Kaya salamat po, iyong pagpunta niyo ngayong gabi, pagpapalakas po ng loob naming lahat,” she added. Moreover, she asked the program’s graduates to take advantage of this second chance.

    “[N]andito kayo, pagtatapos ng isang yugto ng buhay, at ang yugto ng buhay na iyon, ito iyong yugto na nagdesisyon kayo na tapusin iyong pagkadapa,” she said. “Sana hindi natin sayangin iyong pagkakataon na ibinigay sa atin.”

    “Hindi po magiging madali paglabas niyo ulit. Paglabas niyo, marami pa ring pagsubok, pero ang kaibahan ngayon, nandiyan kayo para sa isa’t isa… Kaya hindi dahilan para madapa ulit tayo kung sumasalubong tayo ng napakaraming kahirapan,” she added.

    Posted in Press Releases on Nov 29, 2017