Novaliches bishop, QC gov't, PNP sign drug rehab deal
MANILA, Philippines – Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias, the Quezon City government, Barangay Batasan Hills, and the Philippine National Police (PNP) signed a partnership agreement for a local drug rehabilitation program involving the Batasan area.
The agreement was a partnership under CBDRP-AKAP, or the Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation Program-Abot Kamay Alang-Alang sa Pagbabagong-Buhay.
It also formed the CBDRP-AKAP management team in Barangay Batasan Hills, Quezon City, which is covered by Tobias' diocese.
Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte represented the local government during the signing ceremony on Wednesday, October 18.
Tobias explained that the Diocese of Novaliches wants to start change at the barangay level.
"I thought we can change the country from the top. We will not be able to change the country from the top unless we are able to talk to the different groups, and come to one path and come to unity," Tobias said in an interview with reporters Wednesday.
Days after this agreement was signed, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle presided over the graduation of 132 former drug dependents under the drug rehabilitation program of the Archdiocese of Manila.
"No one can say that you are a hopeless case," Tagle told the graduates of the Archdiocese of Manila's Sanlakbay rehabilitation program on Saturday, October 21.
These efforts come as President Rodrigo Duterte accuses the Catholic Church of failing to do anything to address the drug problem.
Contrary to Duterte's claim, the Catholic Church has long had programs for drug dependents, such as the drug rehabilitation program run by the Diocese of Malolos for 27 years now. – Rappler.com