Cebu News

CPDRC asks religious groups to help rehabilitate inmates

Kristine B. Quintas - Banat

CEBU, Philippines - The management of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center is reaching out to religious organizations who can help them in the rehabilitation of the inmates, particularly the drug addicts.

Doctor Rene Catan, acting chief of the Provincial Health Office, said they want to help in the rehabilitation of the inmates in order to make sure that they will be better persons, especially when they leave the facility.

However, inmates arrested for drug charges and those found using drugs inside the facility do not have access yet to professional rehabilitation services.

Catan said they have still have no other forms of rehabilitation for the inmates aside from the occasional dance rehearsals and small-scale livelihood programs.

With this, Catan said they have started tapping other religious organizations to help them in rehabilitating the inmates.

"Most of the drug addicts don't see the value of life anymore. That's why we are asking religious groups to help us rehabilitate this people," he said.

He cited that the national government has already tapped the Christ's Commission Fellowship, a purpose-driven church, through its SIPAG (Simula ng Pagasa), a faith-based program for surrendered drug dependents and their families.

He said spiritual intervention has been proven as an effective approach to help drug users since churches operate more in communities and has strong support system.

He said the government also has a positive feedback about the program. "Nakita nila nga ang surrenderer dako kausaban sa kinabuhi and the way they see life," Catan said.

Religious organizations, he said, are vital in inspiring the inmates to learn value life again and bring about transformation, healing, restoration and salvation.

"It is not just rehabilitating them away from the drugs and taking away the source of the drug but change in their lifestyle with the help of religious communities. This is quite a complex issue because they are already committed to the facility but still some of them are in drug use," he said.

"The only way we can significantly affect them is touching their lives by way of religious activities," he added.

In Cebu province, the government has carried out some efforts to bridge drug surrenderers and rehabilitation initiatives under the Philipine National Police's Oplan Tokhang.

For instance, the PHO and Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Office have been training government social workers and health professionals so that they can properly manage the intervention needed for the drug surrenderers. The barangay/municipal health workers and personnel from the province's 16 district and provincial hospitals conduct psycho-social treatment and life skills training on the surrenderers.

 CPDRC has a population of 2,933 inmates housed in its 119 detention cells, 110 of which are for male detainees while nine are for females.

Senior Inspector Zosimo Jabas, chief of the Provincial Public Safety Company currently assigned to man CPDRC, said 60 percent or 1,705 inmates in CPDRC are facing drug charges. (FREEMAN)

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