Feature: There is life after drug dependency
Tacloban City (April 10) -- After 33 months, seven residents of the SALAG Regional Rehabilitation Center compose the first batch of graduates who have been given the go signal and a clean slate to go back to the world and find their place under the sun.
One of the graduates, Michael has just graduated in Commerce major in Management, Francis just graduated in Commerce major in Management, Vicmar has also finished his college education and has just passed the Examinations for Policemen, Cesar has a good job, Gil Patrick is scheduled to go abroad, Faranelli has a good job and the youngest Romnick who is only 17 is hoping to go back to college.
Who would have known that they were once drug dependents and were going to school and doing volunteer works even while they were undergoing rehabilitation? They were tested and tried and they proved that they are ready to go back to the community again.
The graduation which took place April 10 was attended by the families and by the different government agencies and members of the Regional Development Council, started with the offering of the Holy Sacrifice and was followed with the solemn graduation rites.
Dr. Teresita Cajano who is the head of the SALAG said during her welcome message, that the seven are the survivors in the first batch of 13 residents. Looking at the seven graduates, no one can really tell the situation they were in many months ago before their graduation.
The seven graduates gave their testimonies while the younger residents, Brother Marvin and Brother Justin gave their expression of support and hope that they too, will follow the path of their seven kuyas. In behalf of the codependants, Mr. Jun Tabano gave a brief message.
Director Olive Tiu of PIA 8 gave an inspirational message reminding the graduates that just like Christ, they have been resurrected and given another chance. The only way they can show their gratitude to the Lord, to their parents and families and all those who worked hard and guided them and walked with them while they were in the dark, is by living their lives to the fullest.
She also exhorted the Regional Development Council which thought of putting up the SALAG project during the time when then Governor, now Congresswoman Remedios L. Petilla was the chairperson.
She added that the graduation is not the end but the beginning of another journey in their lives but they should remember that the government, their families and the entire community will always be there to give them support and encouragement.
The symbolic rites where the graduates burned their court orders as they promised to go on and never to turn back were witnessed by the RDC members and the parents who were present.
Dr. Adelaida Asperin, Director III of the Department of Health in the Region delivered the Keynote remarks exhorting the graduates to go on with their lives and be thankful that the government is doing its best to help people who are in their situations before. She said that the Center does not have enough funding but because the Regional Development Council is committed to helping the drug dependents, the Center is still growing and has recently been turned over to the Department of Health in the Region. (PIA 8) [top]