Governor Victorino Dennis Socrates led the launching recently of a reformation program directed at helping persons who use drugs (PWUD) in Palawan.

Sugpuin iligal na droga: Palaweno’y aasenso, Susulong sa progreso-Community Aftercare & Reintegration Enhancement for Sustainability, or SPS-CARES, was launched on March 13 at the Governor’s Conference Room at the capitol as part of the agenda of the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC).

Governor Socrates stated that SPS-CARES, formerly known as the Community Enhancement and Livelihood Program (CELP) and launched in 2016, wants to focus on rehabilitating and reforming PWUD in response to former president Rodrigo Duterte’s appeal for a Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation Program (CBDRP).

“We owe these inspiring milestones reached by the program to all partners and stakeholders, especially the 12 local government units (LGUs) that did not hesitate to invest time, manpower, funding and other resources with us just so our loving embrace of care with discipline be vividly felt by every PWUD and made instrumental for their cross over to a new life,” he said.

He said the program had already helped around 777 PWUD, who have successfully rejoined their communities as reformed users of illicit drugs.

Socrates said most of them are now productive and are already enjoying life back with their families.

“We value most the changed lives of the 777 PWUD that the program has directly assisted through the various interventions of the program. Most of them are now back to mainstream society, their productive lives now enjoyed by their respective families and communities”.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director III Gil Cesario Castro, who was the guest in the event, expressed gratitude to the provincial government for the reformation program.

“Ito ang kauna-unahang pagkakataon na nakakita ako ng tumugon na local government unit sa hamon ng presidente,” said Castro.

“Isa sa marching order pagkatapos ng drug war is to rehabilitate and eventually reintegrate those victims of drug used into the community, congratulations to the provincial government of Palawan,” he added.

The event also saw the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) among Socrates, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) provincial director Vivian Abueva, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) director Hazel Salvador, and Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa (AVPP) representative Rev. Fr. Jasper Tabangay.

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