Press Release
July 15, 2016

Villar: Train drug users to learn farming

Sen. Cynthia Villar suggested the training of drug users who surrendered to learn farming from farm schools to rehabilitate them.

Since the implementation of the anti-illegal drugs drive "Operation Tokhang," at least 60,000 self-confessed drug users surrendered to the Philippine National Police.

"We have heard a lot of testimonies coming from individuals whose lives have changed after participating in free trainings on agriculture. This is also a livelihood opportunity for drug users who want to start anew," Villar said.

Villar said after signing an affidavit that they will not go back to illegal drugs and undergoing counselling or rehabilitation, drug suspects can also become beneficiaries of government scholarship on agriculture.

Through Villar's initiative, the Technical Education and Skills Development Administration has allotted P500 million worth of scholarship for agriculture courses for 45,000 scholars at P12,000 each. These scholarships are offered in accredited learning sites all over the country.

Villar cited the Duran Farm in San Ildefonso, Bulacan. Its owner, Desiree Duran, have started talking to mayors to offer scholarship slots on agriculture especially for drug users who want to change and become productive citizens.

The 3.6-hectare Duran Farm is the first accredited Farm Tourism Site in Central Luzon. It gives a 2-month certificate course on agriculture production. Duran said after it became a destination for 'agri-turistas,' the community was revitalized and businesses such as sari-sari stores, dormitories, and canteens, grew in the area. "We welcome people from all walks of life in our farm. We want to show the people that a job in agriculture is profitable," Duran said.

Villar said the Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance) Farm School located in the boundary of Las Pinas and Bacoor, also offers training programs on agriculture-related topics such as vegetable production, livestock production, mushroom production, and beekeeping.

It partnered with the Department of Agriculture and private organizations such as SM Foundation, Harbest Agribusiness Corporation, Allied Botanical Corporation, and East West Seeds to teach modern farming techniques to local farmers.

The 7-hectare Farm School has a classroom that can accommodate 300 students, two dormitories that can accommodate 50 students, administration office, staff and workers house, farm house, bambusetum, medicinal herbal garden, tree nursery, greenhouses, vegetable garden, livestock, vermicomposting and aquaculture facilities.

It also has water impounding equipment and a hand tractor. It features organic farming and showcases the use of alternative source of energy such as solar lamp post, rump pump, and windmill power for deep-well water source.

News Latest News Feed