Press Release
February 10, 2017

Villar laud return to productive life of 'reformed' Las Pinas drug surrenderers

Drug surrenderers in Las Pinas City have the opportunity to become fruitful citizens following a successful community-based drug rehabilitation training program carried out by Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation & Governance), in partnership with the Philippine National Police.

Sen. Cynthia A. Villar, Director of Villar SIPAG, expressed joy that the former drug dependents can now become productive citizens and have a brighter future ahead.

'I am thrilled to see all of these drug surrenderers today. I hope that they continue to be changed persons, and that they refrain from going back to their old habits of using illegal drugs, ' Villar said.

Villar added: 'The future is bright. I urge all the program participants to put to good use everything that they have learned, especially the technical know-how on urban agriculture. This will help put food on their tables and money in their pockets.'

Villar was the guest of honor during the recognition rites of the drug surrenderers who participated in the training program, which was called SAGIP BUKAS: A Community-based Drug Rehabilitation Training Program. The 12-week program was launched October 21 at the Villar SIPAG Farm School in Las Pinas.

The program, initiated by Villar SIPAG, is in partnership with Allied Botanical Corporation, Las Pinas' PNP, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Agriculture (DA), Office of the Mayor of Las Pinas City, Las Pinas City Health Office and the Las Pinas General Hospital & Satellite Trauma Center and CFC/FFL.

Participants to the program were drug users from Las Pinas City who surrendered to the police under the Oplan Tokhang program of the PNP. As of January 2017, more than 11,000 drug users from Las Pinas have surrendered to the local police.

Training days of the participants begin with a zumba session to pump up the participants with energy. Next is the training on urban agriculture, which aims to provide them with alternative livelihood with the vision to ensure food security within their families.

The training of Las Piñas General Hospital personnel focused on prevention of diseases and promotion of health not only for the participants but also for their family members, as well as first aid and basic life support.

On the other hand, there were also discussions given by faith-based organizations for values formation, spiritual healing and restoration.

Program participants were likewise taught the importance of environment conservation and protection through coastal clean-up activities.

Sen. Villar delivered a message to formally open the recognition & harvest festival. PSSUPT Marion Balonglong, the newly-installed PNP Chief of Las Pinas expressed appreciation and gratitude to the good senator for such a successful and worthy project.

All vegetables and crops harvested were shared equally among the participants.

The 'graduates' were presented by Reynald del Valle, Technical & Production Manager of Allied Botanical Corporation, who was also their trainer for the past 3 months.

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