76 PWUDs graduate in Bicol’s 1st province-wide “moving-up” event
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After six-to-eight months of undergoing the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) of the Provincial Health Office, 76 Persons Who Used Drugs (PWUDs) from nine municipalities of Catanduanes graduated during the Malinao Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (MTRC) Moving Up Ceremony on April 23, 2018 at the Capitol Dome in Virac.

Anchored on the theme “Soaring High, Fighting Strong, Rising Above Addiction,” the event was conducted to formally confirm the IOP graduates who already met the necessary conditions for the primary phase of the community-based rehabilitation program.

This is the first ever province-wide Moving Up ceremony in the whole Bicol Region. Among the 76 IOP clients, one is from Bato, San Miguel and Virac has two each, five from Panganiban, eight from Bagamanoc, 11 from San Andres, 14 from Viga, 16 from Caramoran, and, 17 from Pandan.

The IOPcompleters went through treatment sessions and recuperating programs including Early Recovery Skills (ERS) and Relapse Probation (RP) to help in their recovery process.

Governor Joseph “Boboy” Cua commended the IOP completers for grabbing the opportunity and for showing their effort towards positive change.

“Sa saindong Moving Up Ceremony ngonian na aldaw, mahihiling ta na an saindong mga esfuerzos na dai man nasasayang. Your achieved progress is more than evident with us today,” he uttered.

Likewise, Gov. Cua acknowledged the support of the family members of the completers who were also present on the occasion.

“For all the mothers and fathers who never falter to show patience and faithfulness, for the sons and daughters who gave their unending understanding to their parent, your loved ones’ success is a shared victory with you today. With your families, we proclaim that there are a lot of things to be hopeful for,” he added.

Moreover, the local chief executive expressed his gratitude to the different local chief executives and the partner agencies for coming together in the fight against illegal drugs.

Gov. Cua promised to continue supporting the programs of the government in eradicating drug problems and for the province to achieve a drug-free status.

Meanwhile, an IOP completer expressed his gratitude for the MTRC in helping them change for themselves.

“Sa lahat ng aking naging facilitators, pinasasalamatan ko kayo sa inyong tiyaga sa amin, na mula Malinao hanggang Catanduanes, dinayo nyo kami rito para kami ay magbago. At ang aking natutunan ay…magsisilbi sa aking baluti na hindi na ako muling matangay sa pagkakalugmok o pagkakamali sa desisyon ng aking buhay,” the IOP client said.

According to Dr. Hazel Palmes, Provincial Health Officer II, appropriate interventions and treatments were provided to the clients including spiritual interventions to improve their physical, mental, emotional and social status.

“Ang improvement is sa mismong pagkatao nila kasi syempre ang problema sa droga, it’s a brain disease kaya matagal yung kanilang intervention program,” Dr. Palmes said.

IOP Coordinator Ms. Sharra Joyce Romano also confirmed the 100% negative drug test results of the completers during the latest random drug testing.

The IOP aims to guide PWUDs in their recovery process depending on the magnitude of their condition and is structured based on the findings of the DOH Accredited Physicians. It is a capability-building effort of the DOH, PHO, Philippine National Police (PNP), the provincial government and the municipal LGUs for the community-based treatment and rehabilitation.

After the IOP, the clients are advised to undergo the After-Care Program to last for nine months. The After-Care Program is the second and last phase of the recovery programs for the PWUDs.

The Municipal Social Welfare and Development Offices, in coordination with other stakeholders such as DTI, TESDA, DOLE, DepEd and all LGUs, will take charge of managing the After-Care Program which aims to gear their target clientele towards becoming functional members of society.

Also present in the event were Dr. Ma. Teresa Iñigo, Chief of Hospital II, DOH–MTRC; RTC Executive Judge Lelu Contreras; Virac Mayor Samuel Laynes who was), represented by Vice Mayor Arlynn Arcilla; Viga Mayor Emeterio Tarin; Panganiban Mayor Robert Fernandez; Baras Mayor Chito Chi; Gigmoto Mayor Armando Guerrero; San Andres Mayor Peter Cua; Caramoran Mayor Agnes Popa; Bato Mayor Eulogio Rodriguez; San Miguel Mayor Francisco Camano Jr.; Pandan Mayor Raul Tabirara; the Technical Working Group; and other line agencies and core teams of LGUs. (G.O.- Information Unit)


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