TABUK CITY, Kalinga – On March 22, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Cordillera introduced the Yakap Bayan Program to selected Tabuk City community leaders at Golden Berries Hotel in order to reduce the involvement of drug surrenderers in drug-related issues.
According to Susana Daluping, the city’s social welfare and development officer, there are 16 barangays in Tabuk City with drug surrenderers who are part of the program, as well as other involved authorities.
According to Patricia Villar of the DSWD-CAR, there are 11,392 drug surrenderers in the Cordillera Region as of February 2021, with 1,803 in Kalinga. According to 2019 statistics, there are two drug addicts for every 100 Filipinos, affecting 13 million families. Nine of the ten users are males, while the remaining one are females. The average user is 22 years old.
The Yakap Bayan Program (YBP) is a comprehensive intervention designed to support recovering people who use drugs (RPWUDs) in their rehabilitation and social reintegration.
The program will be implemented by the city government’s Anti- Illegal Drug Abuse Councils (ADACS) through a multi-disciplinary team with dedicated social workers who will serve as case managers. The YBP uses the whole of city government approach and weaves together readily available resources of the local governments, national agencies, academe, civil society, and faith- based groups to provide an enabling recovery environment of RPWUDs and their families.
Objectives of this program are to provide adequate preparation of RPWUDs reintegration to their families and their communities; Enhance capacities of the RPWUDs in coping with the demands of their environment upon return to their communities, enhance the knowledge, attitude and skills of their families to serve as co-journeyers of RPWUDs toward their recovery; and facilitate enabling environment for the reintegration of RPWUDS in communities.
The beneficiaries are Recovering Persons who Used Drugs (RPWUDs), Recovering Children who Used Drugs (RCWUDs), surrenderers (voluntary and compulsory admission/plea bargaining and or court mandated clients), family members, communities, anti- illegal drugs abuse councils, local government service providers, barangay councils for the protection of children members.
Surrenderers are also turned over to community leaders as part of the Yakap Bayan. With the aid of families, communities, and local government service providers, a community-based approach has been developed to assist RPWUD in socially functioning and maintaining a lifestyle change following rehabilitation/treatment. Yakap Bayan will use a whole-of-nation and community approach to weave existing resources from local governments, national agencies, and civil society. By institutionalizing intervention at the barangay level, Yakap Bayan will reduce the stigma associated with clients, allowing RPWUDs to reintegrate more easily.
The goals are to: provide adequate preparation/transition for reintegration among RPWUDs; improve RPWUDs’ coping capacities with the demands of their dynamic environment upon return to their communities; improve knowledge, attitudes, and skills of families to serve as co-journeys of RPWUDs towards recovery; and facilitate an enabling environment for RPWUDs’ transformation in communities. It includes reintegration mechanisms, client self-management /self-mastery, family strengthening, and community assistance.
By Ian Jefrey Addatu & Gail Awingan