THE Quezon City government will train 200 personnel assigned to the rehabilitation of children and adolescent substance abusers to give young drug surrenderers a chance to change and become productive members of society.
The QC Anti-Drug Abuse Advisory Council has partnered with the International Society of Substance Use Prevention and Treatment Professionals (ISSUP) Philippines to train these drug counselors professionally, becoming the first local government unit in the country to do so.
“Our problem was how we will address the needs of the 16,000 drug surrenderers (in the city),” Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, who chairs the QCADAAC, said.
“With help from ISSUP Philippines chairman Eddie Castillo, the city government will train at least 200 individuals or personnel for five days who could help provide counseling. These were the ones that we deployed to our different barangays to help in our community-based rehabilitation program,” she added.
ISSUP Philippines is a non-profit, non-governmental organization established in 2014 that supports the development of a professional prevention and treatment network by offering trainings and conferences.
“We have a (drug counseling) program, but it’s very limited in scope. A lot want to volunteer and help, but not all of them have the skills or expertise, just the will and the desire to help. And, with this additional training we received, we were able to start the programs in our barangays,” Belmonte said.
Quezon City hosted the 1st ISSUP Philippines National Conference from November 6 to 11 at Novotel Manila, Araneta Center, Cubao.
During the conference, Belmonte highlighted the city’s drug treatment and rehabilitation center known as the Tahanan, a Department of Health accredited center for the treatment and rehabilitation of drug dependents and fully funded by the city government.
Tahanan has a 300-bed capacity within a 9,450 square meters land area in Molave Ext. Diamond Hills Subd. Group II Area B, Barangay Payatas.
“Tahanan has provisions for adults, males and females, minors, and recently, the members of LGBT community because Quezon City is also the very first city that passed an anti-discrimination ordinance for the LGBT sector,” Belmonte said.
QC’s Tahanan was included in the innovations and solutions bank of the DILG Local Government Academy as among the best practices that LGUs should emulate.