At least 66 drug surrenderees who graduated from Iloilo City’s Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Program or Community Change Center: “The Crossroads” have started their livelihood skills training at Technical Institute of Iloilo City (TIIC) Molo campus June 22.

“According to a saying, for you to help someone to live, you should not feed him with fish, instead you should teach him how to go fishing and let him survive through what he caught. On our part, this is what the City Government is doing. We equip our drug surrenderees with skills for them to start another life and help them provide for their family through legal means,” Mayor Joe III Espinosa said.

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TIIC Molo school administrator Ma. Mathilde Octavio said 14 surrenderees have undergone Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) training, 12 on massage, and 40 on driving.

“After the values formation and counseling, we offer them with livelihood skills training so that they will be equipped with skills for them to look for a job. This will also encourage them not to go back to using illegal drugs since they are already equipped with skills,” Octavio said.

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Morning classes from 8am to 12nn every Thursday and Friday will last for two to three months.Octavio also said that drug surrenderees will be taught along with the regular students provided that they pass a psychological test.“This time, we merge them with our regular students because this is our way of making them feel the sense of inclusion. That is why we require them to take a psychological test to ascertain that they are fit to study,” Octavio said.

After completing the livelihood training skills, drug surrenderees will be given with certificate of completion and could possibly be recommended for an NCII certificate. “The Crossroads” is the city’s sustainable anti-drug program to provide rehabilitation and treatment to those patients who choose to have second chance to reform their lives from the ill effects of illegal drug abuse. (Merianne Grace Ereñeta/Iloilo City PIO)

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