Pwede pala yun! Mayor Rex launches first mobile drug-testing program
The City Government of Valenzuela City has launched another innovation in local governance with the pilot run of its mobile drug-testing program.
Mayor Rex Gatchalian said the program was part of Valenzuelano Ayaw sa Droga (VAD) Reloaded’s Tokhang-on-Wheels one-stop-shop caravan.
“Such initiative is a first of its kind in the Philippines and is expected to draw supports from the local and national agencies, as well as the communities,” the mayor said.
“Advance testing kits are being used in the program to obtain results instantly,” he added.
During the first day of the mobile drug testing, around 179 individuals surrendered themselves to the procedure.
Gatchalian said expert city doctors who are accredited by the Department of Health (DOH) to perform drug dependency evaluation (DDE) assessed those who have turned positive.
Following the principles of the city’s comprehensive anti-drug support program, the Valenzuela City Cares Plus, or simply, VC Cares Plus, the positive-testers will either be sent to a center-based or a community-based rehabilitation facility.
On April 1, the Valenzuela City Police Station (VCPS) resumed it’s house-to-house clearing operations. The teams were composed of local policemen, personnel from the Valenzuela Anti-Drug Abuse Council (VADAC), City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), accredited doctors, local barangay officials, and allied spiritual leaders.
“They will spend three to five days per area or until all communities in that area have been covered,” Gatchalian explained.
Recorded surrenderees shall then be endorsed to the Tokhang-on-Wheels one-stop-shop which is scheduled to make rounds based on preferred number of individuals.
The one-stop-shop is composed of vans and booths for drug testing, drug dependency evaluation, medical checkup, social welfare assessment and spiritual counseling.