Some of the Drug Dependents from the City  who voluntarily surrendered to authorities.
Some of the Drug Dependents from the City who voluntarily surrendered to authorities.

TACLOBAN CITY, July 11 (PNA) — The city government here embarks on a rehabilitation program for self-confessed drug personalities who have turned themselves in to local authorities.

Mayor Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez said that with the absence of rehabilitation center, the local government has to initiate activities to ensure that these drug personalities will not return to their old habits.

On Monday, Romualdez led the kick-off of a program dubbed as “Transformation: Inside Out”, a five day spiritual seminar for drug pushers and users at the city’s astrodome. About 300 persons joined the first gathering for the first batch.

“Our focus now is the rehabilitation so they can be more productive and participate in our livelihood program. We need to have sustainable continuing activity for those who surrender,” the mayor said.

The seminar, with about 200 to 300 participants every week, includes lecture on identity crisis, testimonials from former drug dependents, interaction of participants, presentation on negative impact of illegal drugs use, physical activities, counselling, and livelihood training.

The city government will also establish a center at the city’s astrodome for counselling of drug dependents. The center will be manned by psychiatrist, social worker, pastor, nurses and health workers.

A sports program will also be launched for recipients of outpatient program.

City police chief Sr. Supt. Rolando Bade said more than 400 persons have already surrendered to police as of Monday morning.

“The earlier they will surrender the better. If they will not voluntarily surrender, we will enforce police operation and file a case against suspects,” Bade added. (PNA)