186 drug surrenderers complete Laoac’s community-based rehabilitation program

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One hundred eighty- six (186) drug surrenderers completed the requirements of “Oplan Katuwang”, Laoac, Pangasinan’s community-based rehabilitation program. The graduation of the 186 drug surrenderers from the program was confirmed by Mayor Silverio D. Alarcio, Chair of Laoac’s Anti- Drug Abuse Council, and was witnessed by the Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Police Director General Ronald “Bato” M. Dela Rosa. "Maswerte kayo dito sa Laoac dahil yung mga ibang munisipyo ay di pa nakapagconduct ng localized drug rehabilitation program. Dahil dito (community-based rehabilitation program) ay graduate na yung mga Tokhang surrenderers,” said PNP Chief Dela Rosa.

The PNP Chief, during the simple graduation rites, asked the surrenderers who graduated from the program to raise their hands to be recognized."Look at them. They are very proud na magpakilala dahil talagang sila ay na-rehab na. At yung pagtaas ng kamay nila, that is a manifestation na di na sila babalik doon sa kanilang dating gawi. Thank you very much sa inyong sinseridad na magbago,” he said.

“Oplan Katuwang” is Laoac’s response to the number of drug users/pushers uncovered through the Oplan Tokhang. From the original 40 drug users/pushers, the PNP was able to uncover a total of 382 drug users/pushers who 

surrendered and expressed their willingness to go through the community-based rehabilitation program. “Oplan Katuwang” was envisioned to complement the PNP’s “Oplan Tokhang” by providing means for the surrenderers to be rehabilitated and reintegrated in the community. The 186 surrenderers who graduated from the program belong to the first batch of surrenderers who went through different workshops and sessions from August 2, 2016- February 24, 2017.

These workshops and sessions include Skills Trainings/Workshops facilitated by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Regular Rehabilitation Sessions, Community Service and the Laoac Siga Talaga Basketball Tournament. Mayor Alarcio said that Laoac came up with “Oplan Katuwang” because drug abuse is a community problem.
“This is now the problem of our community, no longer a law enforcement problem kasi lumabas na. Ang paghahanap ng problema ay trabaho ng pulis. Pero napalabas na nila yung problema. It is now our job. The leaders of the community, as well as the community, will now take-over. ‘Pag di natin masolbar ito, sarili na natin ang ating sisisihin. So we came up with ‘Oplan Katuwang," he said. Rehabilitation activities under “Oplan Katuwang” offer effective medical, psychological and spiritual interventions to help drug users break free from drug dependence and be fully reintegrated in the society with the needed skills for them to be productive members of the community.

Also present to witness the first batch of graduates of “Oplan Katuwang” were Governor Amado I. Espino, III; PDIR Roel Barcena Obusan, Chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG); PCSUPT Antonio A. Taylan, Jr., Director for Engineering Services; PCSUPT Charlo C. Collado, Acting Regional Director of Police Regional Office 1; PSSUPT Ronald Oliver Lee, Acting Police Provincial Director; and DILG Provincial Director Agnes A. De Leon.“Oplan Katuwang” is the first LGU-initiated community-based rehabilitation program in Pangasinan. (LGOO V Sheila Marie G. Andales)

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