Valenzuela City continues to intensify its campaign against illegal drugs by conducting a simultaneous Community-Based Wellness Program in 33 barangays.
The program, spearheaded by the Valenzuela Anti-Drug Abuse Council (VADAC) Chairman Mayor REX Gatchalian, aims to help the identified drug suspect-surrenderees to immerse them back in their communities and encourage them to renounce their drug addiction.
Since the implementation of Project Tokhang or “Toktok, Hangyo” (Knock, Urge) on July 1, 2,800 individuals from the city involved in illegal drug activities have surrendered in the hope of starting anew and bettering their lives. 1,200 of the total surrenderees have been assessed, and 988 of them who have been identified by the City Health Office as mild to moderate drug users, will undergo the community-based wellness program.
VADAC Action Officer Councilor Tony Espiritu explained that the six-month rehabilitation program will involve trainings, seminars and hands-on activities that will motivate the drug surrenderees to forgo the use of illegal drugs. 120 barangay service coordinators will serve as trainers for the implementation of the different rehabilitation projects. Aside from the rehab programs, drug suspect-surrenderees will also be given a chance to find a job through the partner allied services and stakeholders of the city government.
Mayor REX Gatchalian emphasized that the city plays a big responsibility in protecting its people from dangerous substances. Valenzuela is the first city to roll out its local rehabilitation programs parallel to the national government’s mandate. In order or ensure the 100% participation of the surrenderees, the local government will put up biometrics that will monitor their attendance. Aside from that, the local chief executive also announced the additional infrastructure budget for barangays with the highest number of attendance in the rehabilitation program.
“In Valenzuela, all 33 barangays simultaneously conduct the same program and same monitoring towards one direction. We have one monolithic program that endeavors to save lives and protect the future of our citizens”. Mayor REX also added that the city government, together with the volunteers and other stakeholders are creating history by making an effort to eradicate drug addiction in the city. “We are not just listing down their names, but we are making a move to bring them back to their community and lead them back to their normal lives”.
Meanwhile, the city government will also shoulder the rehabilitation of those who have been assessed with severe drug dependence. They will soon be relocated to the Central Luzon Rehabilitation Center in Magalang, Pampanga.