After six to eight months of undergoing the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) of the Provincial Health Office, 76 Persons Who Used Drugs (PWUDs) from the nine municipalities of Catanduanes graduated during the Malinao Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (MTRC) Moving Up Ceremony on April 23, 2018 at the Provincial Capitol Dome, Virac, Catanduanes.

The event was anchored on the theme: “Soaring High, Fighting Strong, Rising Above Addiction” and was conducted to formally confirm the IOP graduates who already met the necessary conditions for the primary phase of the recovery program which is the six months (in some cases, eight months) community-based rehabilitation.

This is the first ever province-wide Moving Up Ceremony in the whole Bicol Region. Among the 76 IOP clients, 1 is from Bato, San Miguel-2, Virac-2, Panganiban-5, Bagamanoc-8, San Andres-11, Viga-14, Caramoran-16, and Pandan-17.

The 76 IOP completers went through treatment sessions and recuperating programs including Early Recovery Skills (ERS) and Relapse Probation (RP) to help in their recovery process.
Governor Joseph “Boboy” Cua commended the IOP completers for grabbing the opportunity and for showing their effort towards positive change.

“Sa saindong Moving Up Ceremony ngonian na aldaw, mahihiling ta na an saindong mga esfwersus na dai man nasasayang. Your achieved progress is more than evident with us today,” he uttered.
Likewise, Gov. Cua acknowledged the support of the family members of the completers who were also present on the occasion.

“For all the mothers and fathers who never falter to show patience and faithfulness, for the sons and daughters who gave their unending understanding to their parent, your loved ones’ success is a shared victory with you today. With your families, we proclaim that there are a lot of things to be hopeful for,” he added.

Moreover, the local chief executive expressed his gratitude to the different Local Government Executives and the partner agencies for coming together in the fight against illegal drugs.

Gov. Cua promised to continue supporting the programs of the government in eradicating drug problems and for the province to achieve a drug-free status.

Meanwhile, an IOP completer expressed his gratitude for the MTRC in helping them change for themselves.
“Sa lahat ng aking naging facilitators, pinasasalamatan ko kayo sa inyong tiyaga sa amin, na mula Malinao hanggang Catanduanes, dinayo nyo kami rito para kami ay magbago. At ang aking natutunan ay…magsisilbi sa aking baluti na hindi na ako muling matangay sa pagkakalugmok o pagkakamali sa desisyon ng aking buhay,” the IOP client said.

According to Dr. Hazel A. Palmes, Provincial Health Officer II of the PHO Catanduanes, appropriate interventions and treatments were provided to the clients including spiritual interventions to improve their physical, mental, emotional and social status.

“Ang improvement is sa mismong pagkatao nila kasi syempre ang problema sa droga, it’s a brain disease kaya matagal yung kanilang intervention program,” Dr. Palmes said.

IOP Coordinator Ms. Sharra Joyce C. Romano, in her speech confirmed the 100% negative drug test results of the IOP completers during the latest random drug testing.

IOP aims to guide PWUDs in their recovery process depending on the magnitude of their condition and is structured based on the findings of the DOH Accredited Physicians. It is a capability building efforts of the DOH, PHO, PNP, Provincial Government and LGUs of Catanduanes for the community-based treatment and rehabilitation.

After the IOP, the clients are advised to undergo the After-Care Program to last for nine months. After-Care Program is the second and last phase of the recovery programs for the PWUDs.

The MSWDO in coordination with other stakeholders such as DTI, TESDA, DOLE, DepEd and all LGUs will take charge of managing the After-Care Program which aims to gear their target clientele towards becoming functional members of society.

Present in the event are Hon. Joseph Cua, Provincial Governor of Catanduanes; Dr. Ma. Teresa Iñigo, Chief of Hospital II, DOH–MTRC; Judge Lelu Contreras, Presiding Judge–Regional Trial Court Branch 43; the Municipal Local Chief Executives: Hon. Samuel Laynes (Virac), represented by Hon. Arlynn Arcilla; Hon. Emeterio Tarin, (Viga); Hon. Robert Fernandez (Panganiban); Hon. Chito Chi (Baras); Hon. Armando Guerrero (Gigmoto); Hon. Peter Cua (San Andres); Hon. Agnes Popa (Caramoran); Hon. Eulogio Rodriguez (Bato); Hon. Francisco Camano (San Miguel); Hon. Raul Tabirara (Pandan); the Technical Working Group; and other line agencies and core teams of LGUs.
(G.O.- Information Unit)