“Continue to prove to the world and to yourselves that you are now immersed and responsible citizens of the community,” said DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista in his message during the 5th Moving-up ceremony of RDPs and Persons Who Used Drugs (PWUDs) in this town, which was delivered by Assistant Secretary Joseline Niwane.
Twenty nine campers have completed the activities under the six months rehabilitation program at the Ifugao Reflection Camp (IRC), Tiger Hill, Kiangan. They are now eligible to avail the 18-months aftercare program. Their moving up was witnessed by their families, Local Anti-Drug Abuse Councils and other officials.
“You have proven that a past experience cannot hinder one’s ability to change. As you venture in the next step of the process, remember the people who have helped and supported you in every step for when the time comes, it’s your turn to give back to your friends, family, community and the country,” he stated.
Bautista also underscored the important role of every stakeholder for the efficient and effective implementation of government programs and services for the rehabilitation of RDPs in the province and the country.
“Being able to recover, regain control and change for the better is a collaborative effort of the state, community and of oneself. The harmonization of rehabilitation and reintegration programs can only be fully realized with the full support of everyone involved,” he stated.
The DSWD, he informed, has adopted the framework of the community- based rehabilitation program of the province through the IRC in a national scale referred to as “Yakap-Bayan.”
“Seeing the promising effects it has brought about, I highly encourage other lower government units to apply the Yakap-Bayan in their respective communities and be our ally in transforming lives again,” Bautista stated.
DSWD ASEC Jose Antonio Hernandez also urged the RDPs to aim high for the family, community and the next generation.
“The world is watching us, be the spear. Our province has invested in you, it is time to give back,” Hernandez said.
He also commended the province of Ifugao for the initiative and hopes that it will continue in giving a “maagap at mapagkalingang serbisyo sa mamamayan”.
The IRC recorded a total of 605 drug personalities with 428 enrolled in the community- based rehabilitation program with 332 successfully completing the program. Four RDPs were able to complete the 18-months aftercare program. (JDP/MBL- PIA CAR, Ifugao)
By Marcelo B. Lihgawon