ROUGH CUTS| Reforming drug users: Do the DepEd way

NEWS headline: City holds year-round anti-mosquito campaign.

     Good thing that the City Health Office (CHO) under Dr. Josephine Villafuerte is launching this drive. After all, there are several of the city’s 182 barangays that are considered still very much at risk of mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, filariasis, and zika virus infection.

     This campaign of course needs the cooperation of the people if it has to succeed. For as long as the city’s population remains deaf to the proddings of the CHO that prevention of the mosquito-borne ailments start right in their respective homes, the threat of dengue and other related illnesses will continue to stalk the people.

   Really, it’s a matter of household members’ discipline that prevention starts. But of course the city government also needs to provide resources that may be needed in cases where the situation in certain areas already goes beyond the control of the community residents.


     And just like the campaign against mosquitoes, the drive to eliminate illegal drugs prevalence in the city as initiated by the civil authorities under the helm of the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (CADAC) also needs the help of the various sectors of the population.

     Such support is more important especially in the efforts to reform the drug users in the light of the Duterte administration’s relentless war against drugs.

     We are certain that because of the campaign there are users who are trying to return to their old normal selves. But considering that most of them belong to the lower level of society it is likely that going into private drug rehabilitation centers will be beyond their capacity.

     It is in this aspect that the people, especially those who have the means, can help. Of course the government, again, has to take the lead. It has to provide the drug rehabilitation facilities that can cater to the big number of drug dependents who want to get out of the rut that they are presently in.

     But how can private individuals and organizations help reform the addicts who are willing to go back to normal life, assuming that there are already available facilities, manpower and medicines?

     We have this unsolicited recommendation that our CADAC people may explore to test its feasibility. It is however important that the CADAC has the list of drug dependents who are eligible and willing to undergo the rehabilitation process.

     We want the idea behind the “Adopt-a-School” project of the Department of Education (DepEd) replicated in the city’s efforts in reforming drug users.

     Under the DepEd “Adopt-a-School” project individuals, corporations and socio-civic organizations are encouraged to adopt a perticular school where they can sponsor construction of buildings and other school facilities, provide financial support to the maintenance of the school, or donate learning equipment like computers, laboratory and technical-vocational equipment.

     In order to ensure its continuity and sustainability, the city can offer a counterparting scheme or tax deduction perks that may benefit a participating individual, socio-civic organization, or corporation. And may be an added benefit is the bragging right or brand dominance in the case of corporate participant.

     The city government has to have a Memorandum of Agreement with the adopting entity and the parents of the drug dependents so that the responsibilities, accountabilities and deliverables will be properly defined.

     It is also important that the CADAC can present a ball park figure of the amount that will be needed to totally rehabilitate one drug user. That is, from the time he or she enters the drug rehabilitation center up to the time that he/she can be considered as safely back to his or her normal self.

     In the matter of monitoring the “reformed” user we believe that this should become the primary responsibility of the CADAC. How the agency will do it must be crafted by a multi-sectoral group that can provide the best inputs.

     Clearly, this strategy is one concrete example of community engagement in such novel project as helping reform the city’s many drug dependents. And we know many would be willing and perhaps just waiting in the wings to be tapped.

     We are calling the leadership of CADAC, specifically our good frient Michael Aportadera, to bring out this idea to Mayor Inday Sara. For all we know she might bite it and order the CADAC to start the ball rolling for the “Adopt-a-Drug Dependent for Rehabilitation Project.”


     From our e-mail files:


     Why didn’t Noah swat those male-female mosquitoes instead of allowing them in the ark?

     Why isn’t there a mouse-flavored cat food?

     Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?

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