by Nilda Delos Reyes

ISABELA CITY, Basilan, May 26 (PIA) – A total of 357 drug reformists in Lamitan City received their certificates for completing the Community-Based Rehabilitation Program for Drug Reformists (CBRP-DR) in a graduation ceremony, recently.

The Lamitan City Anti-Drug Abuse Council launched the program last November 2017 to improve the quality of life of drug reformists, provide convenient rehabilitation where other activities will not be compromised, and to set an environment that inculcates good values and healthy lifestyle.

The six-month program which is envision to be hand for every victim of illegal substances who are seeking for treatment and rehabilitation has three components which includes recovery, community engagement and skills development and livelihood.

During the graduation ceremony last May 21 at Datu Dizal Cultural Center, Mayor Rose U. Furigay, in her speech, encouraged and challenged the reformists to be the model of reformation and positive change.

“Sa mga graduates, umaasa po ako na kayo po ang magiging ambasadors ng positive change. Marami pong paraan para magbago ang isang nawawala sa landas,” she said.

Furigay also assured the reformists that their local government will continue to help and provide assistance especially for their livelihood.

“I will assure you na kung ano po ang mga kailangan ninyong mga assistance, mga livelihood programs parati po andyan kami sa likuran ninyo para tulungan kayo,” the mayor said.

“There are a lot of things to be hopeful for, na hindi pa huli para magbago. The future is bright for us, may maganda pong kinabukasan na naghihintay sa atin sa dulo,” she added.

Mayor Furigay also lauded the barangay officials who wholeheartedly supported and motivated the drug-reformists who surrendered since 2016.

“Sa ating mga barangay kapitan na talaga namang hindi nagkulang ng suporta sa ating mga reformists, ako po ay saludo sa inyo dahil hindi po talaga ninyo iniwanan ang inyong mga constituents,” she said.

Meanwhile, Basilan Governor Jim Hataman Salliman, in his message delivered by OIC-Provincial Administrator Manny Muarip, reiterated that the strong campaign to fight illegal drugs in the country was made possible through the able leadership and marching order of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

He said that the governor is encouraging the reformists to be dynamic and productive members of the community.

“Look for a decent job, maliit man basta malinis lang. Lahat ng programa ng city government, dapat ay bantayan natin at sumali tayo. Don’t stay idle, wag palaging mag-isa. Join activities in the barangay,” he said.

He also warned the reformists to avoid a person who brings negative influences to them.

“Stay away from your friends who pretend to be friends pero sya ung magdadala sa inyo sa kasamaan, kilala man nyo sila, layuan nyo na,” he said.

Moreover, PDEA Assistant Regional Director Ralph Rommel Torres emphasized the negative effects of illegal-drugs to anyone who uses it.

“Wawasakin po ng illegal na droga ang inyong buhay pati na rin ng inyong pamilya. Hindi po ito titigil hanggat wala na pong matitira sa inyo. Ang droga ang nagiging dahilan kung bakit nagiging miserable ang ating mga buhay,” he said.

Two graduate-reformists also shared their experiences and response to the rehabilitation program.

Jaime Ortega Jr. a village official and Sherwin Carin were both illegal drugs users and surrenders’; and through the Community-Based Rehabilitation Program of the City Government of Lamitan they were able to develop their competency and learned the value of life.

These reformists are living statements of the negative effects of illegal substances and through their experiences they said “NO more TO ILLEGAL DRUGS”. (RVC/NDR/PIA9-Basilan)