(Left Photo) DSWD Assistant Secretary for Special Concerns Jose Antonio Hernandez graces the Second Moving Up Ceremony of drug surrenderees who underwent a six-month drug rehabilitation program at Lucban, Quezon's Pagbabago at Pag-asa Reflection Camp. Asec. Hernandez encouraged the surrenderees to continue to tread the path to change.  (Right Photo)  DSWD Field Office IV-A Assistant Regional Director for Administration Milah S. Gatchalian shakes the hand of one of the 'campers' who finished the first phase of the drug rehabilitation program provided by the local government of Lucban, Quezon. With her are the town's local executives and partners in the provision of various interventions to drug surrenderees.

(Left Photo) DSWD Assistant Secretary for Special Concerns Jose Antonio Hernandez graces the Second Moving Up Ceremony of drug surrenderees who underwent a six-month drug rehabilitation program at Lucban, Quezon’s Pagbabago at Pag-asa Reflection Camp. Asec. Hernandez encouraged the surrenderees to continue to tread the path to change. (Right Photo) DSWD Field Office IV-A Assistant Regional Director for Administration Milah S. Gatchalian shakes the hand of one of the ‘campers’ who finished the first phase of the drug rehabilitation program provided by the local government of Lucban, Quezon. With her are the town’s local executives and partners in the provision of various interventions to drug surrenderees.

Another batch of drug surrenderees in the Municipality of Lucban, Quezon have turned their lives around and finished the first phase of the community-based drug rehabilitation program provided by the town under the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Yakap Bayan.

Yakap Bayan is an inter-agency collaborative framework that provides rehabilitation, aftercare, transformation, and reintegration support for recovering drug dependents.

The surrenderees, numbering to 29, underwent a six-month rehabilitiation program from Lucban’s newly-established ‘Pagbabago at Pag-asa Reflection Camp’ (PPRC) where they were provided with various interventions, including psychosocial counseling, medical treatment, and spiritual enlightenment seminar, as well as leadership, disaster response, and skills training.

The batch received their certificates of completion in a moving up ceremony held yesterday at the Lucban Municipal Hall.

After finishing the six-month program, the surrenderees will now be entering the 18-month reintegration phase where they will be reintegrated back to their families and communities.

The Municipality of Lucban has been following the Yakap Bayan framework in rehabilitating former drug dependents in the town. Under Yakap Bayan, the surrenderers—called ‘campers’ while they are at PPRC—are provided with various interventions in collaboration with its partner-national and government agencies, civil society organizations, and faith-based organizations.

The implementation of the rehabilitation program using the Yakap Bayan framework aims to capacitate former drug dependents and turn them into active and productive members of the society, specifically, community leaders and disaster volunteers.

DSWD Assistant Secretary Jose Antonio Hernandez congratulated the campers and encouraged them to continue to change their lives.

“Ito ay hindi pagtatapos, kundi simula pa lamang ng inyong tuloy-tuloy na pagbabago. Nawa’y huwag ninyong sayangin ang pagkakataon na ibinigay sa inyo at ipakita sa inyong pamilya at komunidad na kayo ay kapaki-pakinabang na miyembro ng komunidad (This is not the end, but just the start of your road to change. I hope that you won’t waste this opportunity and show your family and community that you have already changed and are now productive members of the society),” Asec. Hernandez said.

The DSWD executive, who has been championing the Yakap Bayan framework, also assured the surrenderees of the government’s support to them.

“Narito lamang ang ating gobyerno upang tulungan kayo. Narito kami upang pagtahi-tahiin ang mga programa at serbisyo ng ibang ahensya ng pamahalaan para sa inyo (The government is here to help you. We are here to bring together the different programs and services of the government for you),” he added.

For their part, the campers were very thankful of the government’s support.

“Malaking tulong po ang nagawa ng rehabilitation program na ito sa buhay ng bawat isa sa aming mga surrenderees. Napakasama po ng naging epekto ng ilegal na droga sa buhay ko. Dahil sa programang ito, ako po ay unti-unting nakapagbago. Napakaswerte ng bayan namin dahil mayroon tayong programang ganito (This rehabilitation program has greatly helped each of us, surrenderees. Illegal drugs have negatively affected my life. But because of this program, I had the opportunity to change. Our town is very lucky for having this program),” PPRC Batch 3 President Feliciano Alpay, Jr. shared during the testimonial part of the moving up ceremony.

The ceremony was also attended by Lucban Acting Mayor Armando V. Abutal, DSWD Field Office IV-A Assistant Regional Director for Administration Milah S. Gatchalian, and Dangerous Drugs Board Assistant Secretary and Deputy Executive Director for Administration Walter P. Besas.

Pagbabago at Pag-asa Reflection Camp

Lucban’s drug rehabilitation camp, the Pagbabago at Pag-asa Reflection Camp, opened in July 2017.  Located at Barangay Palola, the one-hectare camp is rehabilitating low-risk drug surrenderees by batches.

The camp was established with funding from the Office of the President and with the help of the DSWD and local counterparts of NGA-partners of the local government unit of Lucban. It is being managed by the town’s Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office with the help of various CSOs and FBOs.

To date, PPRC has rehabilitated three batches of drug surrenderees since last year. Another batch will be entering the camp to undergo the rehabilitation program by September.

Through the PPRC, Lucban aims to slowly rehabilitate the 543 total drug surrenderees in the town and to turn them from being treated as cancers of the society to being leaders and volunteers who can be tapped for help in the community. ###