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Multi-sectors support PNP’s Oplan Tokhang 'Reloaded'
« on: March 10, 2017, 01:28:06 PM »
Multi-sectors support PNP’s Oplan Tokhang 'Reloaded'
By Saul E. Pa-a

CALAMBA CITY, Laguna, March 9 (PNA) -– Various sectors here expressed support on Thursday to the Philippine National Police (PNP) which resumed its anti-illegal drug campaign “Oplan Tokhang Reloaded” with programs and projects that benefit drug surrenderers and intervention initiatives to solve the drug problem.

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA), Millet Revano, head of the Sectoral Affairs Office in this city, disclosed that the city government has strengthened the Women’s Congress to help address the drug menace.

Revano said that Mayor Justin Marc Chipeco and his wife have thrown their support to the city’s staging of the 3rd Women’s Congress later this month by engaging women sector leaders to consolidate their programs and projects for livelihood, handicrafts and product marketing.

She added that the women leaders are also urged to promote healthy lifestyle and effective parenting as one of the approaches to curb the drug menace.

She said multi-sectors here are also addressing the city’s drug problem and assessed that their focus should start at home and with the families.

“We note that the drug problem is also triggered by family problems and that regular communication among family members should be observed,” Revano said.

While there may be influence exerted by the social environment, families should value quality time for them like bonding and interactions, Revano added.

According to Revano, addressing the drug problem needs proper coordination, collaborative system, verification of identities and evaluation of the report to avoid mishandling of the drug cases.

A host anchor of the afternoon public affairs radio program “Gabay Tahanan” of Radio Calabarzon DZJV 1458 khz, “Mommy Ester” Catalan also expressed support for the program to gain sustainability against dangerous drugs that ruin families.

“It is good that we sustain the program rather than we always go back to zero, because the criminals continue to be emboldened to perpetrate their crimes without police or law enforcement,” Catalan said.

She cautioned, however, against “killing” the suspects if there’s a way, unless authorities are dealing with a dangerous suspect and armed groups.

Catalan also pointed out that parents should play their role to guide children so they would not be lured into illegal drugs by closely monitoring and observing them, and advising them to stay away from bad influence, peer pressure and bullying.

The radio program host advised parents to spend more quality time with their kids for them to become productive citizens and not end up a liability not only to their families but also to the society.

Meanwhile, the Calamba Pastors Alliance (CPA) through its president Pastor Ernie Cerezo has sustained its moral recovery program and values formation with the city government and its outreach program to the city’s 54 barangays including its ministry to the drug surrenderers.

In Cabuyao City, Christian Bible Baptist Church (CBBC) pastors, Reverend Ernesto Gatpandan Jr., said the anti-illegal drug program is a step to sustaining the momentum toward addressing the drug problem.

“We have a classic example where a drug user was introduced to me and we presented him to the police where he signed the waiver and later on we brought him to the rehab center. Then lately, we visited him and learned that he turned to be a business head in the center and that’s a progressive step,” Rev. Gatpandan revealed.

The evangelical pastor described the experience of the rehab patient as a development born out of the government and church working hand-in-hand to address the problem on drugs.

“We always educate our parishioners on the ill-effects of illegal-drugs when once you’re into that, life would be difficult, so might as well avoid drugs,” Gatpandan said.

He advised church members that if they are made to choose, they should not look only for the start of that choice but the results and consequences of illegal drugs.

Rev. Gatpandan also said that their church is into prison ministry, conducting visitations to inmates every Wednesdays in Cabuyao and Mondays in Calamba and daily at the city Social Welfare and Development Office, as well as daily hospital ministry.

He also shared that in their ministry, “we don’t ask, we give and we will sustain our undertakings to help in molding the moral fiber of the communities.”

Ella Blanca Balinguit, barangay secretary of Canlubang, said that they are now revitalizing the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) and sustaining their partnership with the religious sector through the “Ugnayan ng Barangay at Simbahan” (UBAS).

Balinguit informed that they have conducted their one-on-one assessment program with the “Tokhang” surrenderers initiated by Barangay Chair Larry Dimayuga in coordination with the PNP.

According to Balinguit, the Canlubang village intervention program includes dialogues with the parents of the drug surrenderers, dialogues in schools and academic communities here and the mapping of out-of-school youths (OSYs).

Canlubang barangay’s program for the OSYs and drug surrenderers include their skills and capacity building through enrollment in the Alternative Learning System (ALS) and training courses conducted at the Canlubang Manpower Skills Training Center in collaboration with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). (PNA)

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