After the declaration of President Rodrigo Duterte’s all-out war against illegal drugs, thousands and thousands of drug surrenderers’ coming from the different parts of the Philippines yielded and voluntarily submitted themselves to the authority.

But the real war has just begun. Whether these people surrendered out of fear or to seek for their 360 degrees transformation, the real challenge is how to lift them from the abyss after they hit their rock bottom?

Building rehabilitation centers, organizing training, seminars, and activities as techniques for overcoming their addiction are just some of the government’s initiative in extending its hand to reach the surrenderers.

For its part, the Municipality of Capas in the province of Tarlac has established the ‘first of its kind’ and largest drug reformatory center in Central Luzon dubbed the Capas Bahay Pagbabago- Drug Reformatory Center (CBP-DRC) to shelter and assist Capaseños who have willingly committed to reformation.

Jonas, not his real name, was 18 years old when his peers pushed him to enter the stark reality of drug addiction. Now 20 and determined to leave behind his shady past, he decided to turn himself in.

Jonas was just one of the 222 illegal drugs victims whose life have completely changed after recently graduating from the program of CBP-DRC.

“For some, entering the CBP-DRC for 60 days is like being tied up and confined in a small box. At first, it was difficult,” he stated.

“But the unwavering support and concern of our families, most especially the local government is enough eye-opener for me to realize that I matter. That after all, I still matter,” Jonas emotionally stressed.

Under the program of CBP-DRC, the Jonases and the other surrenderers, now transformed individuals underwent two months of intensive physical, mental, social, moral and spiritual conditioning for their holistic personal development.

Through free technical-vocational training in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, these individuals are now likewise ready for their employment.

“I am beyond grateful to CBP-DRC for helping me conquer my setbacks and shortcomings. If not for them, maybe I am still out there either hiding from the law or lying six feet under the ground,” Jonas noted.

As these individuals embrace the second chances handed to them, a new spark of hope shines in guiding them to become better citizens.

CBP-DRC made the impossible change. Its powerful conviction, passion, and determination to rescue the lost individuals capacitated transformed individuals to create a lasting change and safer place for all. (PIA)