QC, SMC to hire 500 ex-users for MRT-7
Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - April 26, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines -  The Quezon City government yesterday inked a memorandum of understanding with San Miguel Corp. (SMC) for the hiring of around 500 former drug dependents for the construction of Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7).

These drug surrenderees who finished the community-based rehabilitation program of the Quezon City Anti-Drug Abuse Advisory Council (QCADAC) get to work as traffic enforcers and construction workers for EEI Corp., the project contractor.

Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte hopes this new lease on life would remove the stigma associated with persons formerly hooked on drugs.

“If they are able to perform well in their new work, I think the stigma will disappear,” Belmonte said in an ambush interview with reporters.

Workers who relapse will  be immediately fired.

Belmonte, chairperson of the QCADAC, is a signatory to the agreement.

Under the program, former drug dependents will receive the daily minimum wage of P454 and other benefits mandated by the government.

Raoul Romulo, authorized representative of SMC, said the agreement is their first with a local government unit that is related to President Duterte’s war on drugs.

Those who will be productive can be hired in other construction projects of EEI, said project manager Permo Sarzosa in the same briefing.

There are about 16,000 drug surrenderees in Quezon City.           

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