The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its Field Office X established the first ever Regional Technical Working Group (TWG) for the Implementation of Aftercare, Reintegration, and Transformation Support for Recovering Drug Dependents through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with other regional government agencies.
Under the MOA, the TWG aims to consolidate and synchronize all efforts toward the effective and efficient implementation of aftercare programs for recovering drug dependents and their families in Region X.
The TWG member-agencies that signed the MOA as a sign of their commitment were the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Education, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Health, Department of Justice – Parole and Probation Administration, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Labor and Employment, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and Philippine Sports Commission.
The creation of the Regional TWG is one of the initiatives of the Department to contribute in the anti-illegal drug campaign of the national government. Through the TWG, the different government agencies can undertake convergent efforts to provide a whole of nation approach in the rehabilitation and reintegration of the Recovering Persons Who Used Drugs (RPWUDs).
Yakap Bayan Program in Region X
As part of the Department’s intensified contribution in the campaign against illegal drugs, the DSWD implements the Yakap Bayan Program (YBP), the government’s primary reintegration program model for RPWUDs.
In DSWD Field Office X, eight local government units (LGUs) have entered into a MOA with the DSWD for the implementation of YBP in their respective jurisdictions. These LGUs are Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte; Sugbongcogon, Misamis Oriental; Tudela, Misamis Occidental; Pangantucan, Bukidnon; Binuangan, Misamis Oriental; Salay, Misamis Oriental; Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental; and the Provincial Local Government Unit of Misamis Oriental.
DSWD FO X also successfully endorsed the YBP in the Regional Development Council X – Social Development Committee aimed at getting the support of the Council. In so doing, the Department hopes to enjoin the LGUs to adopt/institutionalize the YBP with corresponding resources, using the whole of LGU approach; and the concerned national agencies to provide technical support and resource augmentation, as applicable.
The DSWD emphasized that building a strong network of support for RPWUDs is vital in transforming them from being surrenders to community leaders which is the way towards achieving a drug free country.