A total of 10 local government units (LGUs) in the provinces of Laguna, Batangas and Quezon are now partners of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in responding to recovering persons who used drugs (RPWUDs). After a series of Memorandum of Agreement signing ceremonies, these LGUs are set to implement the Yakap Bayan program in their respective localities.

These LGUs include the municipalities of Agdangan, Padre Burgos, Quezon, Real and Pagbilao in Quezon Province; San Luis, Taysan, San Juan and Tuy in Batangas Province; and Los Baños in Laguna Province.

The Yakap Bayan program provides a holistic intervention in assisting RPWUDs towards their reintegration to their families and communities. The program also focuses on helping RPWUDs to become functional and productive members of their communities.

“Everyone is a stakeholder in solving illegal drugs. The national government cannot do it alone, the LGUs cannot do it alone. Pagtulung-tulungan po natin ito, andito kami [referring to DSWD] para gabayan kayo,” said DSWD Undersecretary Jose Antonio Hernandez, chairperson of the Yakap Bayan Technical Working Group and the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs Rehabilitation and Reintegration Cluster, during the virtual MOA signing ceremony last May 25 with the LGUs of Quezon, Quezon and San Luis, Batangas.

Agdangan Mayor Rhadam Aguilar emphasized the commitment of the LGU, especially the members of the Municipal Anti Drug Abuse Council, in implementing the program in their locality.

“Naniniwala ako na sa tulong ng aking mga kasama ay matutulungan ang mga indibidwal at pamilya na hindi na muling magbalik sa kanilang madilim na pinagdaanan,” shared Mayor Aguilar during the MOA signing ceremony in their locality last May 19.

Other than the 10 LGUs mentioned, more LGUs are expressing their intent to implement the Yakap Bayan program in their localities. Five LGUs are set to sign their respective MOA with the DSWD until the end of June.***