KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 1 June) – Mayor Joseph Evangelista claimed Friday that the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and the National Youth Commission (NYC) had given appreciation and recognition of the city government’s anti-drug programs.
The mayor said he received the accolade from the DDB and the NYC after his lectures during the anti-drug forum held a week ago in Kalibo, Aklan where he introduced two of his special programs to the participants.
Evangelista’s anti-drug programs include the “Balik Pangarap (To Dream Again) Program”, and “Barkada Kontra Droga (Friends who are Against Drugs)”.
He said the “Balik Pangarap Program” gives the “recovering addicts” chance to reform through help from former drug addicts.
A group called “Narcotics Anonymous,” he said, is helping the city government to make the program effective while they assist the addicts in their recovery and “healing” so they could dream again.
The Barkada Kontra Droga, on the other hand, is popular among students and out-of-school youth in the city.
The city government, according to Evangelista, has allotted amount to fund activities that would prevent the youth from being hooked to drugs.
In schools, the city LGU, together with personnel from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Kidapawan City PNP, gives lectures to students about illegal drugs and how they could possibly get rid of it.
He said the LGU conducts surprise random drug tests among city hall employees and selected students from public schools.
Evangelista was earlier quoted as saying that what he wanted to achieve when he introduced these programs two years ago was to make sure drug users recover from their addiction so they could go back to the mainstream and become productive again.
In 2016, at least a thousand self-confessed drug users yielded to authorities and promised to reform by joining the “Balik Pangarap Program.”
Sad to say, Evangelista said, that of the thousand, only a hundred recovering addicts survived the program.
The rest, reports from the Kidapawan City PNP said, returned to their old habits and had again engaged in selling drugs. Few of them were killed during police operations, reports added. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)