barangay-based recovery and reintegration program for drug

users who have surrendered was launched last night at the San Roque Parish Pastoral Center, in Subangdako, Mandaue City.

Dubbed as, LABANG (Lahat Bangon), the program initiated by the Ugnayan ng Barangay at mga Simbahan (UBAS), a program of Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) that brings together citizens and leaders at the grassroots level for good governance and e ective delivery of services. e expanded UBAS involves the Dilaab Foundation, Inc. Barangay Subangdaku, Rotary Club-Fort San Pedro, Magone Home A er Care program

of Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) priests, FARM (Family and Recovery Management), Mandaue City Police O ce, and the Cebu Alliance for Change.

According to Barangay Subangdaku Barangay Captain Ernie Manatad a total of 91 surrenderees out of the present list of 191 in the barangay attended the activity. ey were accompanied by the members of their families.

e event started with a 6 pm Holy Mass concelebrated by Fr. Carmelo Diola, chair, Dilaab Foundation and a member of UBAS National Technical Working Group and Fr. Alvin Abatayo, SDB, assistant project director of Magone Home.

While packed meals were being served, Max Andrino known as “Daloydoy” over the

air, cracked jokes to provide entertainment. is was followed by testimonies from recovering drug addicts, and members of Narcotics Anonymous.

Fr. Abatayo outlined their 6-month intervention program starting with an orientation which include the immediate assessment of the level of addiction, psycho- social and spiritual capability building, vocational capability building culminating, and the reintegration phase.

“ is is a journey from ‘Tokhang’ to ‘Labang’ which start from a belief that we are powerless and we need God to change us, and we need other people’s help,” Diola said.

“ e opposite of addiction is reconnection, this is the essence of the program”, he added.

According to Diola there are three million drug addicts in the country and more than 600,000 have surrendered and there are only 45 rehab centers with a maximum capacity of 5,000.

Diola said community- based recovery and reintegration program can provide the answer.

Ramon Escaño, Marketing O cer of FARM, a rehab center, and a pioneer of local Narcotics Anonymous, a club of recovering addicts (is this necessary?), said they will provide therapists and counselors to every individual, group and family free of charge, as well as Cebuano translation of the “12 (recovery) steps” book which will be duplicated courtesy of Rotary Club-Fort San Pedro chapter.

According to Escaño they have already organized the

NA in Subangdaku which is complemented by Dilaab’s bible- based sharing or “Lectio Divina.’

e three-hour activity culminated with a ceremonial commitment expression by surrenderees and support groups by leaving their hand prints on the commitment wall.

They then held their hands together in a circle and sang the song, “If We Hold on Together.”

“I am hopeful that one day with this program, I will be reunited with my family,” says one surrenderee.

“Tumayo ang balahibo ko sa katawan, ang feeling ko nandito ang Panginoon diyan ng mga pinasurrender natin at lahat ng opisyales…ito ang signal na huwag na natin balikan ang maling gawain at onward na tayo sa tunay na pagbabago,” says Mandaue City Police Director Roberto Alanas.”

“ is is a breakthrough, a divine intervention, as it happened on the feast of St. Augustine who was able to overcome his intellectual arrogance…” Diola said.

“It is amazing, the outpouring of support,” Manatad adds.

“We are determined to help in the vocational and reintegration aspect and come up with positive results,” says Jess Rodinas, Special Project Director of Rotary Club of Fort San Pedro Chapter. (Dilaab NewsMag)

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