Reintegration agenda involving brgys introduced

By Jason B. Neola


The national government is introducing a social reintegration program for drug surrenderers, where the processes involve the families and communities of the Recovering Persons Who Use Drugs (RPWUD).

Called Yakap Bayan, the program undertakes holistic intervention to assist RPWUD in their recovery journey from surrendering, to treatment or rehabilitation, to aftercare, and to social reintegration with their families and communities.


Aileen Alim, project development officer of the Social Technology Unit of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the Bicol region, said that the vision of the program is to develop PWUD from being surrenderers to community leaders.


“Yakap Bayan program aims not only to help them develop their skills but to prepare their respective families and communities as well for the social reintegration of RPWUD who need to become again productive members of society,” she said.


To be able to avail the services of Yakap Bayan, a drug personality must surrender first to government authorities, undergo the primary treatment by completing the Community-based Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Program offered by the local government units and the out-patient program under the facilities of the Department of Health (DOH), and lastly, has to complete his/her stint in in-house treatment or drug treatment rehabilitation center.


Alim’s team is at present in Naga City conducting the rollout training for Yakap Bayan with the members of the Naga City Anti-Drug Abuse Council or the Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT), the core group that is in the frontline to extend assistance to RPWUD and their families in the social integration of the former.


Jose B. Importante, executive director of the Naga City Dangerous Drugs Board, sees that with the inclusion of RPWUD’s family and community in the program more surrenderers will be reintegrated with the society.


He said: “stigma and discrimination usually being felt by RPWUD often factor into the reasons why people who need help no longer seek care and services.”


Importante said Naga City has around 2,300 surrenderers whom they are going to register in the Yakap Bayan program which was launched early this year.


Outside Naga, the program is being implemented now in the municipalities of Buhi and Calabanga, Iriga City, in Donsol, Sorsogon, Paracale, Camarines Norte, and the province of Albay.