Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista has instructed its employees to contribute to the Department’s efforts in reaching out to recovering drug personalities (RDPs) and helping them get back into the fold of society.

The move is part of further strengthening DSWD’s advocacy of transforming the lives of former drug dependents from being surrenderers into advocates, volunteers, and eventually, productive community leaders through the Yakap Bayan Framework of Interventions.

Yakap Bayan is an inter-agency collaborative framework which weaves together all existing government programs, projects, resources, and activities in order to create a holistic and sustainable approach for the rehabilitation, aftercare, reintegration, and provision of support services for RDPs.

DSWD has been championing Yakap Bayan since 2017, providing technical assistance and capacity-building for social workers of various local government units (LGUs) and partner-agencies for better implementation of aftercare, reintegration, and support services for RDPs and their families.

Apart from the capacity-building and technical assistance to the local implementers, the Department also facilitates a wide range of services for RDPs and their families. These include the provision of financial assistance (educational, medical, and burial), Cash for Work, Food for Work, livelihood assistance for qualified RDPs through DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program, and referral to Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for skills training, among others.

To further help the RDPs, DSWD is involving its employees in its anti-drug efforts and initiatives. Sec. Bautista encouraged the Department’s employees to participate in activities conducted under the community-based rehabilitation programs of various LGUs. They may help by volunteering their time in different reformation camps or reflection centers for RDPs, such as the Pagbabago at Pag-asa Reflection Camp in Lucban, Quezon; Ifugao Reflection Camp in Kiangan, Ifugao; and Itigil at Talikuran Na ang Droga, Ngayon Na! (ITAN) Reflection Camp in Santol, La Union, among many others. They may also share goods and donate other useful materials to these centers.

According to the Secretary, involving employees in the Department’s anti-drug initiatives will help set a good example among citizens and hopes to inspire them to support the government’s efforts of rehabilitating RDPs.

The welfare chief underscored the importance of families and communities as the primary giver of support to help RDPs start their lives anew. According to him, the support of ordinary citizens is also important when it comes to monitoring and maintaining efforts to protect communities from the ill effects of illegal drugs. -30-