In this file photo, recovering drug surrenderees (RDA) can be seen undergoing the initial phase of the 16-week Community Enhancement and Livelihood Program (CELP)

The local government of Narra and the provincial government have signed an agreement to establish the Community Enhancement and Livelihood Program for Drug Surrenderees (CELPDS)-Continuing Care Phase for recovering drug surrenderees (RDS).

CELPDS team leader Asri Kuhutan said the livelihood initiative will help raise the quality of life of the RDAs and get them back on their feet after undergoing the initial phase of their 16-week Community Enhancement and Livelihood Program (CELP) recovery program.

“Itinakda ang CELP upang maglaan ng epektibong mekanismo para sa buong mamamayan ng Palawan para maiahon at matulungan ang ating mga RDS na minsang nalugmok at naligaw ng landas dahil sa ipinagbabawal na droga,” Kuhutan said.

Palawan’s CELP was born out of the provincial government’s compassion for more than 4,200 drug users and pushers who voluntarily surrendered at the onset of the administration’s “Oplan Tokhang” and “Double Barrel Reloaded.”

It is a 16-week community-based outpatient recovery program that would provide the essential support for recovering drug addicts to get back to mainstream society.

Narra mayor Gerandy Danao was present on August 6 during the signing of the MOA with the captains of around 10 barangays, said Kuhutan.

Meanwhile, CELP field rehabilitation program head Roselyn Umpacan said the continuing care phase is an immediate response to call for help for the RDS who want to gain back their morale to be able to return to the mainstream society.

“Alam natin na noong sila’y na-tokhang ay nabawasan ang kanilang dignidad at kaya tayo nandito upang matulungan silang makabalik sa normal na buhay,” Umpacan said.

She said the CELPDS is handled by community care teams (CCTs) who will be guiding the RDS.