Such is the goal of the National Drug Rehabilitation Program (NDRP) of the government, according to Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Assistant Secretary for Special Concerns Jose Antonio Hernandez, who heads the agency’s  anti-drug campaign.

“We, at the DSWD, envision that the previous cancers of our society will be able to change their lives. We want to transform drug surrenderers into volunteers, then advocates, and eventually community leaders,” Asec. Hernandez said during yesterday’s episode of DSWD ‘May Malasakit’ radio program aired over DZRH.

“President Rodrigo R. Duterte himself directed us not to leave drug surrenderers behind, but to provide support to help them change their lives and become useful members of the society,” he added.

According to Asec. Hernandez, the DSWD will provide recovering drug surrenderers with disaster preparedness trainings so they can become emergency responders who will lead the members of their community in preparing for threats of disasters. The Department will also provide other skills trainings so they can be mobilized in other initiatives of their community.

The DSWD is part of  the Pillar II of the NDRP, which refers to community-based rehabilitation pillar, and  the lead agency for the Pillar III, which pertains to the aftercare, reintegration and transformation support for recovering drug dependents. The objectives of both pillars are to help drug surrenderers to rehabilitate themselves and return to the fold of society as active members.

Pillar III includes funding for the Department’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) and Cash for Work (CFW) program to provide livelihood assistance to the drug surrenderers along with other psychosocial programs.

“Those who voluntarily surrendered to the police are assessed whether they will have to undergo community-based or center-based rehabilitation program. After finishing any of the two, the Department of Health will issue a clearance, endorsing the surrenderers to the after-care program of the DSWD,” Asec. Hernandez said as he explained the process of the government’s drug rehabilitation program.

The Assistant Secretary also stressed the importance of strengthening the family and the community in the government’s war against drugs.

“We need to strengthen both the family and the community, as they will provide the support system to recovering drug dependents. They are the ones who will embrace them after they successfully complete their treatment,” he said.

According to Asec. Hernandez, if  the family and community have a strong foundation, they will not be shaken by those who plan to destroy the society using drugs.

DSWD ‘May Malasakit’ is aired over DZRH every Thursday, from 2:00-3:00 pm. It tackles the different programs and services of the DSWD.

Meanwhile, DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo greeted the listeners of the program through phonepatch saying, “Natutuwa ako sa patuloy na pagsuporta ninyo sa ating programa. Umaasa ako na nakakatulong sa inyo ang mga impormasyong ibinabahagi at serbisyong binibigay ng ating Departamento  (I am grateful for your continued support to our radio program. I hope that the information we are sharing and the programs and services we are providing are of great help to all of you).” ###