Davao Region to pilot Yakap Bayan

DAVAO Region will pilot the Yakap Bayan program of the national Inter-Agency Committee for Anti-Illegal Drugs (Icad) as discussed in their recent inter-agency meeting, headed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) at Ateneo de Davao University.

DSWD gathered all participating government agencies under Icad and some local government units last Thursday, August 10, to discuss the services and programs offered by each agency and the initiatives done by the LGUs against illegal drugs to create a collaborative strategic plan for drug rehabilitation.

Icad-Yakap Bayan spokesperson Dahlia S. Padillo, in an interview with SunStar Davao, said DSWD Assistant Secretary Jose Antonio Hernandez found Davao as the successful region in the country in terms of drug rehabilitation services and programs as compared to other regions.

"Since different government agencies have their own way of rehabilitating drug users, why not combine all the strategies of each agency and come up with one direction," Padillo said.

Yakap Bayan, she said, will cater occasional drug users who surrendered to the police as a way of giving them a chance to renew their lives. It will also be made mandatory for those who recently got out from various rehabilitation centers.

Padillo said the city has already trained 200 barangay scholars last summer to assist social workers in attending the needs of those who surrendered from drugs under this project.

"The Yakap Bayan will be a barangay-based project where the trained scholars will be the first-hand attendees of those who surrendered. They will interview them and assess their needs for rehabilitation and contact the concerned government agency that can provide the necessary services needed by the client," she said.

The surrendering drug users or pushers, Padillo said, will also be provided with detoxification activities and counseling. After six months upon surrendering, interventions for the reintegration phase will begin which will take around 18 months with skills training for livelihood and capacity building trainings, especially on disaster response.

Padillo said the Barangay Sasa has the most number of drug surrenderees in the city from 2016 to July this year.

"National government agencies, especially DSWD, Department of Health (DOH), and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (Pdea), are hoping that the LGUs can also function effectively upon this implementation as they will be the main regulator of this project since it is barangay-level," she said.

She said Icad is working consistently to implement Yakap Bayan soon.