Thirty two more persons who used drugs (PWUDs) finished the Community-based Rehabilitation Program of Sipalay City this month.
The graduating PWUDs from Barangays 2 and Cayhagan belong to the third batch of the ongoing drug rehab program held last July 13-17 at the Sipalay City Multipurpose Center.
“Ultimately, this rehab program aims to not only break the dependence of these persons from illegal drugs, but to also prevent them from returning to substance abuse,” Mayor Maria Gina Lizares said during the graduation ceremony held on the last day of the week-long sessions.
Sipalay has 24 graduates from the first batch held in the second semester of 2019 and 88 from the second batch held in the first quarter of 2020.The 112 PWUDs of the previous drug rehab sessions came from 10 barangays–Barangays 1, 3, 4, Cabadiangan, Camindangan, Canturay, Cartagena, Mambaroto, Manlucahoc and Nauhang.
With the addition of the batch three graduates from two barangays, Sipalay only has five out of 17 barangays left to undergo CBRP.
While this is something to look forward to in the next months, Lizares mulls over the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to the city’s anti-drug abuse efforts.
“We were supposed to hold the consequent on-site validation of the latest two barangays. However, the restrictions brought by the pandemic has affected the schedules of the Philippine
Drug Enforcement Agency and our stakeholders,” she said.
Despite this, Lizares is still hopeful that by the end of the year, Barangays 2 and Cayahagan will be validated by the PDEA regional office.
Furthermore, the first-term mayor said the city government never loses its focus on clearing all the 17 barangays in Sipalay by 2022.
The CBRP is led by the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council through the Philippine National Police-Sipalay City Police Station, Department of the Interior and Local Government-Sipalay, City Health Office and City Social Welfare and Development Office in partnership with the Negros Occidental Provincial Health Office, PDEA Neg. Occ. and the Neg. Occ. Drug Rehabilitation Foundation, Inc.
The barangay officials also underwent an unannounced drug testing along with the PWUDs where all tested negative.
The PWUDs were also rapid tested for COVID-19 and checked up by CHO staff as part of the new health protocols for mass gatherings in the city.
Aside from the barangay officials, the Sangguniang Kabataan also joined the recent CBRP to lead exercises in-between sessions.