TAGUM CITY—The graduation for the second batch of Seryosong Tagumenyos Ayaw Nang Droga (STAND) program commenced last March 3, 2018 at the New City Hall Atrium, unleashing a new chapter in the lives of the newest batch of Tagumenyos certified by a multi-agency council as drug-free.
STAND launched in July 2016 is the banner program of the LGU to fight drug problems in the city and is a brainchild project of Mayor Allan L. Rellon.
186 TADs or Tagumenyo Ayaw ng Droga (an endearment for the surrenderees) attended the emotional graduation. They were accompanied by their family and friends to support their successful completion of the said program.
A surprise drug test was conducted prior to the graduation proper. Urine samples were collected and examined through the help of the City Health Office with the assistance of the Department of Health.
Mr. Clodito Canada, the Provincial Officer of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) of Davao del Norte, jokingly remarked that they will be out of jobs if more drug dependents voluntarily surrender themselves. “It’s really an opportunity for them na iprove sa ilang sarili na dili na sila mubalik sa paggamit ug pagbaligya sa illegal na droga (It’s really an opportunity for themselves to prove that they can stop using and selling illegal drugs)…It would help not only themselves and their families but the law enforcement as well.” He added that by not using and selling drugs, the demand decreases which also minimizes the supply.
Mr. Louie Selario, one of the directors of STAND appealed to the graduates to instil the values he taught them for their families and for self-improvement. Likewise, Mayor Allan L. Rellon urged those who are still reluctant to surrender to think about their family and themselves. “Diri ta sa gobyerno kay walay laing tumong ug tinguha ang atong gobyerno kundi alang sa inyong kapakanan…” (Trust the government because its goal and desire is to protect your welfare)
Graduates of STAND program can expect employment referral/facilitation, access to livelihood grants, education scholarship/subsidy, access to skills trainings, and reintegration to society.
As of this date, there are 742 TADs for the third batch undergoing the different interventions of the STAND program. They are expected to graduate by the end of April. Ziyarah Manalo/CIO Tagum
186 STAND graduates march on the aisle during the 2nd commencement exercises of Seryosong Tagumenyos Ayaw Nang Droga (STAND) graduation last March 3, 2018 at the city hall atrium. Kelvin Palermo/CIO Tagum
STAND graduates sing the national anthem, igniting newly awaken patriotism and nationalism in them. Kelvin Palermo/CIO Tagum
The then candidates for graduation are listening intently to Mayor Rellon’s inspirational message during the program proper of the STAND graduation.Kelvin Palermo/CIO Tagum