By Emmanuel P. Solis
LEGAZPI CITY (PNA) – The local governments of the three cities of Legazpi, Tabaco and Ligao have started recruiting volunteers that would make up the teams providing medical and other forms of support to drug dependents voluntarily surrendering to local authorities.
According to Supt. Joselito Esico, Legazpi City police chief, some 1,894 drug dependents –both the “big personalities” and the street level ones — have yielded to the police and local chief executives in this city, since President Rodrigo Duterte waged his war against drugs at the start of his administration in July.
Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal said the medical teams will include volunteer doctors, psychiatrists, nurses and other medical practitioners who will serve the surrenderees–both users and pushers–seeking rehabilitation for drug dependency.
Esico said Rosal had instructed them to have a sustained and massive campaign against illegal drug activities and to assist the surrenderees in getting the services they need.
Rosal, Tabaco City Mayor Krisel Lagman-Luistro, and Ligao City Mayor Patricia Alsua held a meeting with Department of Health (DOH)- Bicol officials to come up with “an immediate response” for the drug dependents.
According to Rosal, the rehabilitation center in Malinao, Albay could no longer accommodate the influx of surrenderees.
He said that aside from medical aid, the three cities in Albay would also put up livelihood activities to help the economically displaced drug dependents.
Rosal also instructed the city employees to undergo drug testing to erase doubts on their perceived involvement in illegal drug use.