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From ‘most shabulized’ to a model of drug rehab programs: Iloilo City’s out patient program is country’s best

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The Department of Health (DOH) is eyeing Iloilo City’s drug rehabilitation program as a model, according to City Health Office head, Dr. Bernard Caspe.

“In the whole Philippines, it is only Iloilo City that has this kind of out-patient (rehabilitation program), which is four to six months,” he stated in an interview Wednesday afternoon.

Caspe said they were supposed to present in Manila this city’s successful ‘CrossRoads’ outpatient rehabilitation program, which so far has produced 408 graduates, before it was “postponed indefinitely.”

The rehab program was launched in August 2016. It was the brainchild of Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog with an Ilonggo psychiatrist as consultant in support of the anti-drug war campaign of the Duterte administration.

One rehab center was established in each of the city’s seven districts which has a total of 273 rehab patients.

Caspe said the program has an 85 percent success rate. The remaining 15 percent, however, were unable to complete the program due to the failure to complete the 90 days mandatory attendance or were found to be positive with hard drugs.

The monitoring of graduates continues after they completed the program. They are required to still undergo after-care program where they go back to the center at least once a week.

Others are subjected to random drug tests, while some opted to avail of skills training available at the Technical Institute of Iloilo City (TIIC) or look for work with the assistance of the city’s Public Employment Services Office (PESO).

After finishing the one-year after care program, they will receive a certificate, which they can use in applying for a job abroad, he added.

Caspe said they are ready to accommodate more surrenderers with the relaunch of the “Oplan Reboot”, which calls for the Philippine National Police to revisit all suspected drug dependents.

The city government through the CHO has trained 42 dangerous drugs evaluators (DDE) to augment the 55 others previously trained by the DOH. They were responsible in determining the level of addiction of drug dependents.

The “CrossRoads” caters only up to moderate addiction while severe addiction cases are being referred to the rehab center in Pototan for in-patient treatment.

Mabilog has made a big effort to change Iloilo City’s image since President Rodrigo Duterte branded it as the country’s “most shabulized.”

(PNA)