291 drug surrenderees get livelihood training in Quezon City

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Almost 300 drug surrenderees in Quezon City took part in a skills and livelihood training program initiated by the city government on Friday.

Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte led the conduct of the program, which was held in partnership with the Quezon City Skills and Livelihood Foundation Inc. and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

“We do not judge you because of your past,” Belmonte said at the end of the day-long program.

“We’re here to help you get back to your feet, that’s why we have provided you with these simple, short courses that you will really find useful in starting your own livelihood,” she added.

Belmonte, the head of the city’s anti-drug abuse and advisory council, said the program is intended to equip the drug suspects and their families with practical skills to start a livelihood or small business.

The one-day courses include balloon decor-making, candy-making, soap-making, meat processing and bread-making.

The graduates received training and entrepreneurship certificates and starter kits consisting of basic implements and supplies corresponding to each trainee’s course.

Similar programs are expected to be conducted in other parts of the city in the following months.

The beneficiaries were among the thousands who surrendered to the city government and the local police following intensified anti-drug efforts of the Duterte administration.

In February, at least 500 former drug dependents and substance abusers were hired as laborers in the ongoing construction of the Metro Rail Transit System Line 7 that traverses Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.

They were among the 2,000 drug surrenderees who completed the community-based drug rehabilitation program of the city government, according to Belmonte.

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