CEBU CITY — Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma has said he is planning to replicate two existing drug rehabilitation programs in Cebu, namely, the “SuGod” (Surrender to God) Drug Recovery Program of the Love of God Community, and Labang (Lahat Bangon).
“If possible, these two programs should be replicated and spread throughout the archdiocese so that in our own ways, we could respond to the call of caring for our surrenderers,” he said.
“The more the two programs would be replicated, the happier it would be,” he said.
Palma, 66, called on priests, government officials and the police to come together and help drug dependents overcome their addiction.
Palma is also set to meet barangay captains for the launching of the Cebu Archdiocesan Program for Drug Dependents (CAODD).
The Cebu prelate has encouraged different sectors of community to unite as one and provide a sustainable program for drug surrenderers.
He ordered all parish priests and team moderators to make the multi-purpose halls in every parishes available whenever sessions and events for drug surrenderers would be held.
In coordination with barangay captains, priests are also encouraged to extend counseling sessions for drug dependents or refer them to appropriate government agencies or private institutions.
A total of 25 drug surrenderers in Barangay Subangdaku, Mandaue City, completed on Thursday the six-month barangay-based recovery and reintegration program organized by the Ugnayan ng Barangay at Simbahan (Ubas) led by Fr. Carmelo Diola.
The first group of drug surrenderers in Cebu who underwent the program were cleared of illegal drug use. (PNA) — KBAPI
ROMNICK, 18 (not his real name) began his “love affair” with illegal drugs at a young age.
A resident of Barangay Sta. Cruz, Liloan town, Romnick said he started taking illegal drugs when he was 12 after being influenced by an older brother.
“Halos kada adlaw kong walay tugpa (I was high almost every day),” Romnick said.
But Romnick’s life changed when a barangay official urged him to attend a 10-day drug rehabilitation program in Liloan after being subjected to an “Oplan Tokhang” in their village.
After 10 days, Romnick is one of 70 suspected drug personalities who graduated from the program.
Organized by church groups led by the Archdiocese of Cebu, the “Surrender to God (SuGod) Drug Recovery Program” is designed as a live-out seminar workshop intended for outpatient drug users.
The program was the Archdiocese of Cebu’s answer to the shortage of drug rehabilitation centers, said Fe Barino, SuGod’s program director and chairman of the Catholic Charismatic Communities of Cebu.
Barino, co-owner of Duros Development Corp., said the program started as a drug rehabilitation for their 26 employees who were found positive of illegal drugs during a surprise drug test they conducted earlier this year.
Barino said she didn’t have the heart to fire her employees. So instead, she sought the help of IT WORKS! Chemical Dependency Treatment Center to get them rehabilitated.
But what started as a simple rehabilitation program for her employees expanded to other barangays in Liloan who had drug surrenderees.
Aside from IT WORKS!, Barino also sought the help of Fr. Monico Catubig, who specializes in drug-related family counseling.
They presented the program to Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, who gave his approval and ordered Barino to implement it.
Around 65 participants, who became the first batch of SuGod, started the pioneering rehabilitation program last August 14.
In the group, four are drug pushers and the rest are drug users.
For 10 days, the participants underwent rehabilitation sessions that used scientific and spiritual approaches.
Rene Francisco, IT WORKS! program director, told reporters that the rehabilitation of the 65 participants doesn’t stop after 10 days.
“The 10 days is just to jump-start their rehabilitation. They really need to have a follow up to ensure their recovery,” he said.
Francisco said that after the 10-day sessions, the 65 participants should attend Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings in their community for an hour and a half.
Barino said that at first, she was afraid that a lot of their participants will be dropping out in the first three days.
“But we were surprised because a lot of them really came and were willing to get themselves clean,” she said.
Barino offered to provide rice packs and meals to the participants so they would return every day.
Barino said the activity has also taken a toll on their wallets. She said that the 65 participants, they spent around P300,000.
Barino hopes the National Government will help them sustain the program.
In a separate interview, Msgr. Joseph Tan, spokesperson of the Archdiocese of Cebu, said SuGod was one of their initiatives to counter the increasing number of drug surrenderees in Cebu.
“It goes to show that the Church is working for the benefit of all,” Tan said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 24, 2016. Latest issues of Sun.Star Cebu also available on your mobile phones, laptops, and tablets. Subscribe to our digital editions at epaper.sunstar.com.ph and get a free seven-day trial.
THE Catholic Church has not been sleeping on its mission to help drug surrenderers.
This was the statement of Fe Barino, one of the organizers of Surrender to God (SuGod), after President Rodrigo Duterte criticized the Church for its alleged refusal to help the National Government with its anti-illegal drugs campaign.
SuGod, which started last year, is a community-based drug rehabilitation program led by the Archdiocese of Cebu.
During the graduation ceremony of SuGod’s sixth batch of recovering drug surrenderers yesterday, Barino defended the Church, saying it had been helping drug users fight their addiction.
As much as they want to inform the President of the Archdiocese’s efforts, Barino said they would rather let their deeds do the talking.
“We would rather not allow our right hand to know what our left hand is doing,” she said.
In a separate interview, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said that while he didn’t hear Duterte’s speech during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Cebu-Cordova bridge project last Thursday, he was not surprised of the President’s tirades.
He said the Church will continue to stand for what it believes, despite the criticisms they have received.
“Many of the things we have spoken, he may not like. As I mentioned in the past, we will never stop talking on what we believe is right and what is good for the people, for that is our mandate,” he said.
Palma facilitated the graduation of the 45 recovering drug surrenderers during the ceremony held at the Love of God Community in Barangay Yati, Liloan yesterday.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 04, 2017. Latest issues of Sun.Star Cebu also available on your mobile phones, laptops, and tablets. Subscribe to our digital editions at epaper.sunstar.com.ph and get a free seven-day trial.
Charismatic group, private firm organize free drug rehab workshop for drug dependents
Couple Margaret and Jojo (not their real names) decided to surrender themselves to God and undergo drug rehabilitation after seeing their children growing up without anything that they could call their own.
Jojo, being the breadwinner, said most of his earnings from being a tricycle driver all went to buying shabu.
“Usahay maibog ko sa uban, ug unsay pangayoon sa ilang anak mahatag nila (I envy other parents who can give what their children wants),” he said in an interview on Tuesday.
Jojo added that even his elder sister had to adopt his eldest daughter so that she could finish school and could have a better future.
Jojo admitted that they did not even have a house to call their own since he was not able to save money to construct a decent house.
He said they were living in an extension room in the house of his parents in Liloan town.
The couple, who got married in 2010, attended the 10-day seminar workshop dubbed as “SuGod (Surrender to God) Drug Recovery Program” with the help of their aunt at the Love of God Community, a charismatic group headed by Fe Barino.
Jojo admitted that they were hesitant to attend it.
During the first two days, the couple admitted that they attended the sessions high from using shabu.
Margaret said their desire to be respected by their children was also one of the major factors that encouraged them as a couple to submit themselves to the program to help them stop using illegal drugs.
They were among the 65 participants who finished the program organized by the Love of God Community and Kaalam Foundation Inc. in partnership with IT WORKS! Chemical Dependency Center based in Ozamis City.
How it started
Barino, owner of Duros Construction, told reporters in a press conference that the initiative started when 46 of their employees tested positive for using drugs.
Barino said another factor that prompted them to do this was the call of Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma for lay organizations to come up with a rehabilitation program for drug addicts who surrendered to the government.
“We want to show them that there’s hope for them,” she told reporters.
Of the 65 participants who completed the workshop, 26 were employees of the company while the rest were drug users and four drug pushers who lived in Barangays San Vicente, San Roque, Sta. Cruz, Tabla and Yati in Liloan town.
Rene Francisco, program director of IT WORKS! Chemical Dependence Center, spearheaded the rehabilitation program.
The 10-day community-based program was designed as a live-out seminar workshop intended for out-patient drug addicts. This program was also a solution to the shortage of drug rehabilitation centers and the high cost of residential treatment facilities.
Scientific and spiritual
The program uses the scientific approach applied by professional drug rehab practitioners using the Evidence Based Therapy and The 12 steps Spiritual Recovery Methods of Narcotics Anonymous.
The spiritual aspect is handled by Fr. Monico Catubig, a priest who also handles drug-related family counseling.
The program is given for free to them.
Barino said they spent about P300,000 to cover for the food and other costs in inviting drug-rehab experts.
Barino admitted that they needed the help of groups and even the government to sustain their efforts since the program does not stop only after the workshop.
Francisco said the 10-day program was only a jump-start for the participants, and they would be made to commit to attend the Narcotics Anonymous meetings that would be held at least once a week to follow-up on them.
“The recovery is with the meetings,” he added.
Aside from this, it was announced yesterday during their closing program that those who wished to take up technical courses might avail of free skills training being offered by Duros.