Drug surrenderers who are graduates of a recently concluded community emergency response training (CERT) by the Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office are set to compete in a Philippine National Police-organized competition on November 7 in Camp Quintin Merecido, Davao City.

The 30 drug surrenderers , trained under a reformation plan by the PNP’s 11th Regional Public Safety Battalion called Disaster Action Team (DAT), are poised to be reintegrated back in their communities as disaster responders.

They are to compete in a series of events to test competency on bandaging, splinting, CPR, moving and lifting, situation analysis, and firefighting.
The drug surrenderers , aged 17 to 35, are from barangays in the city that are identified as disaster prone areas in the city: Tigatto, Ma-a, Matina Pangi, Matina Crossing, Matina Aplaya, and Bucana.

Lyndon Leovic Ancajas, DRRMO training officer, said that the DAT Olympics and the CERT training is a step forward for the rehabilitating drug users and pushers return to their community as productive citizens.

Ancajas trained drug surrenderers on the country’s disaster situation and the city’s hazards, risks, and vulnerabilities. He also discussed community based early warning systems last September 19.
Through these regular trainings by the DRRMO, we hope to promote resilience in communities and to equip people with necessary skills to adapt and recover during disasters, Ancajas said.

He stressed the importance of community-based responders as live savers in barangay levels.

“Disaster preparedness is not enough,” he added. Regular trainings on resilience allow people to adapt, survive, and recover.

This DRRMO training with the PNP is in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s interventions for drug surrenderers.

DRRMO chief Emmanuel Jaldon said that efforts of his department will also be directed to support programs of the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (CADAC).

Disaster response trainings will be incorporated in the aftercare program of drug surrenderers, Jaldon said.

CADAC has so far recorded at least 9,322 drug surrenderers as of October 5.