PDEA Region 8 Acting Regional Director, Edgar T. Jubay was one of the guests during the Opening of the Baybay City Day-time Therapeutic Community Center located at the New Baybay City Library, Diversion Road, Barangay Gaas, Baybay City, Leyte.

PDEA 8:  Baybay City LGU, one of the best performing Local Government Units in the country

The first LGU to have established and operate a Day-time Therapeutic Community Center

The Local Government Unit (LGU) of the city launched the Baybay City Day-time Therapeutic Community Center (BCDTCC) located at the Diversion Road, Barangay Gaas, Baybay City, Leyte almost a year ago. It was one of the highlights of the Kick-off Ceremony of the Drug Prevention and Control Week Celebration in the city on November 14 last year. Thus, in a few days, it will be celebrating its first anniversary with high hopes for renewed lives for the recovering drug dependents of the city.

Dr. Noberto P. Oja Jr., Medical Officer V and BCDTCC Head, revealed that 2,252 drug dependents in the city responded to the “Oplan Tukhang” of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

And as of July 15, 2017, 659 of the surrendered drug dependents have been assessed by the Drug Assessment Team of the City of Baybay and were categorized as Low Risk (238), Moderate Risk (262) and High Risk (159).

According to Dr. Oja, the high-risk drug dependents are the target clientele of the Baybay City Day-time Therapeutic Community Center, while those who were categorized as moderate and low risk drug dependents will be taken care of by Masa Masid Program which will be spearheaded by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Oplan Sagip Program of the Department of Health.

In his welcome remarks during the launching of the BCDTCC, Vice Mayor Michael L. Cari, said that, “The centerpiece program of the administration of President Duterte is to stop the drug menace.  We believe that this is also our fight and one of the many ways we can be partners is to provide the facilities where the victims of drug abuse can be helped and rehabilitated to become useful members of our community again. The Baybay City Day-time Therapeutic Community Center is our humble contribution to this program.  Here, drug dependents can be closely supervised as they work their way back into a life of hope and possibility during day time.”

Thus, since its operation in November of last year, two (2) batches of recovering drug dependents (RDDs) had finished their six (6) months therapy at the BCDTCC. The first batch started with 23 RDDs but only 18 RDDs graduated in June 19, 2017; then only 6 of the 8 RRDs graduated from the second batch last August 11, 2017. The third batch of 23 RDDs started their six months journey in July 17, 2017 and hopefully none of them will drop out from the therapy.

Dr. Oja revealed that the activities in the Day-time Therapeutic Community Center include Case Work and Individual Counselling, Group Work and Group Counselling, Recovery Skills Training Session, Faith-based Session, Family Counselling, Referral Services and Conduct of Dialogue with the parents of the Recovering Drug Dependents.  But after the six (6) months therapy, he said that the graduates will still undergo the eighteen (18) months after care as part of the therapeutic community program.

The graduates from the BCDTCC had undergone skills training with the Technical Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) and were given financial assistance by the Baybay City LGU so that they will have something to start with as they re-integrate to their respective communities.

The City Mayor, Hon. Carmen L. Cari, is very delighted with the thought that this facility has paved the way to the change the recovering drug dependents have been longing for in their lives.

But Dr. Teresita Cajano, the former Chief of Hospital at the Saving Lives at a Common Ground (SALAG) Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Dulag, Leyte reiterated that, “Although this will not be easy, addiction is never without redemption.”  Thus, the drug dependents may always go back to the way they were, if they really want to.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Region 8 Acting Regional Director, Edgar T. Jubay, also attended the ceremony and said, “I would like to congratulate the Local Government Unit of Baybay City. Ma’am Carmen, you are first again! Baybay City is doing good as far as the Anti-Drug Campaign of the present administration is concerned and we hope and pray that we will be able to finish our write up so that the national office will at least know that you’re doing good; and to eventually recommend you to be recognized as one of the best performing local government units as far as anti-drug campaign is concerned.”

It can be recalled that because of these efforts against illegal drugs, Baybay City Mayor Carmen L. Cari received recognitions from the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). (Marissa Miguel Cano, City Information Officer III, Baybay City, Leyte)

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