Religious groups to assist drug dependents

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PASIG City (Metro Manila): Mayor Robert Eusebio has sought the assistance of some religious groups in providing counseling and teaching moral values to hundreds of the city’s self-confessed drug pushers and users who had voluntarily surrendered to the police apparently for fear of their lives.

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Eusebio, who made a comeback after a short rest from politics, said drug dependents who turned themselves in to the police and the city government should be given spiritual advice, aside from livelihood training.

“After raising their [returnees]left hands and vow that they will never go back to illicit activities, so then, what’s next? It must have continuity and that we will be tapping the religious sector to also monitor them [drug dependents]and give them some advice,” he told this reporter in an interview over the weekend.

For effective monitoring, drug surrenderers have been clustered in several groups and will be visited by religious leaders once or twice a week, Eusebio said.

About 500 self-confessed drug pushers and users have voluntarily surrendered to the police.

The mayor said he will ask the City Council to allocate more funds for expansion of the city’s drug rehabilitation program as more drug dependents are now willing to be rehabilitated.

“The city’s rehabilitation facility can no longer accommodate the increasing number of drug users who want to be rehabilitated,” Eusebio noted.

“We [the city government]will shoulder the expenses in the rehabilitation of our constituents who are hooked on illegal drugs,” the mayor said.

He, however, clarified that this will be on a voluntary basis to avoid waste of money as he said some of the drug surrenderers will escape if they are forced to undergo rehabilitation.

The mayor said the city government has sponsored the rehabilitation of 157 drug users who were brought to various rehabilitation facilities.

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