Albay’s ‘House of Hope’ offers new life to drug surrenderers
LEGAZPI CITY, Albay — The Diocese of Legazpi headed by Bishop Joel Baylon has established “Harong Paglaom” (House of Hope) to help former users of illegal drugs in Albay province.
Baylod said putting up the House of Hope was the response of the Catholic Church in Albay to the drug problem in the country.
“We believe that instead of just condemning them or killing them, through a community-based rehab program, we can provide substance users (drug addicts) another chance at their lives because we believe everyone deserves another chance,” the bishop said.
Rev. Fr. Rex Arjona, director of the Social Action Center of the Diocese of Legazpi, said two pilot programs have been started at San Roque and Rawis villages with several surrenderers availing of the program.
He said they would mainstream it in as many parishes as they could until and their target would be to have a Harong Paglaom Unit in every town and city in Albay.
“We are also planning to partner with identified schools like Aquinas University of Legazpi (AUL) and Divine Word College of Legazpi (DWCL) for sustainability and more value-added services of substance users and their co-dependent,” Arjona said.
He said apart from renewing their lives and spiritual gain, the house of hope will also offer livelihood and education components. SFM
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