BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan admitted the City Government has limited funds for livelihood assistance for the rapidly increasing number of drug surenderrees wanting to reform their way of life that is why efforts are being done in order to help them shy away from going back to the illegal drug trade.
The local chief executive claimed drug surrenderees wanting to avail of livelihood assistance from the city can submit their project proposals to the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) which will in turn evaluate the feasibility of their proposals before the approval of the no-interest and non-collateral loan.
“We had proven that the rate of return of our no-interest and non-collateral livelihood loan has been successful and this are available funds which could be used by drug surrenderees interested to avail of livelihood assistance. We want to help our drug surrenderees but what is important is they should be willing to help themselves in order to free them from the drug menance,” Domogan stressed.
He said personnel of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO), the CSWDO, and volunteers from various non-government organizations which had been advocating against the use of illegal drugs are now closely working to provide lectures to the drug surrenderees to help them go back to normal life and become productive citizens of the city.
According to him, the government’s all-out campaign against illegal drugs also contributed to the significant reduction of crimes in the city over the past several weeks that is why the city is also doing its part in trying to help the drug surrenderees go back to normal life and maximize their potentials in contributing to the development of their communities.
In terms of hosting a government drug rehabilitation facility, he revealed that the local government is offering the use of a portion of the city-owned 5,000-square meter property in Balenben, Irisan, near the Social Development Center of the CSWDO, as a site for rehabilitation center.
However, he claimed there are four alleged informal settlers whose houses must be demolished proposed rehabilitation center site.
At the same time, he added the local government is also closely coordinating with the management of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center for the put up of a separate drug rehabilitation center inside the hospital compound.
He urged the remaining drug pushers and drug users to voluntarily surrender to authorities to avoid unnecessary violence.
It was learned that there are now close to 1,000 drug surrenderees from the city’s 128 barangays with bulk of the surrenderees being drug pushers./By Dexter A. See