DSWD targets 600 drug users from vulnerable sector for ‘Hilom Bayan’

MANILA-- Some 600 drug users from family beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), Indigenous Peoples and other members of the vulnerable sector are being eyed by the Hilom Bayan" community-based drug rehabilitation program that will be rolled out by the social welfare department.

About 100 people per batch are expected to benefit from the rehab program that would be conducted over six months in six regions across the country, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Assistant Secretary Lorraine Badoy said during the #RealNumbersPH Forum held Tuesday.

The department is set to launch the program in the National Capital Region, Central Luzon (Region 3), Eastern Visayas (Region 8), Zamboanga Peninsula (Region 9), Soccsksargen (Region 12) and Calabarzon (Region 4-A).

Badoy noted that as part of their "hilom" or healing, beneficiaries of the rehab program will be required to attend family development sessions, where they will be motivated to enhance their income-generating skills.

During the program's culminating activity, the participants will be given livelihood projects or will be covered by the cash-for-work program, Badoy told the Philippine News Agency in an interview.

"We must empower the poor so they could earn good money to provide for their families," she said, stressing the need to take stronger steps to eradicate poverty so that the poor would not be lured into drug use.

"We believe that a concerted effort from the concerned government agencies and those from the private sector should go hand in hand to solve this public health issue."

"Hilom Bayan", which will source its funds from President Rodrigo Detente's PHP1-billion Presidential Socio-Civic Projects, will involve local government units and the Ugnayan ng Barangay at Simbahan.

The program was inspired by the Cordillera Administrative Region's Ifugao Reflection Camp, which was established by the provincial government last year to provide therapy for drug surrenderers, 109 of whom graduated last April 25.

These drug users were categorized as persons with mild to moderate substance abuse.

Source: Philippines News Agency