NATIONAL Grid Corporation of the Philippines, operator of the country’s power grid, is providing P10-million assistance to recovering drug users through its Bukas na Pintuan Tungo sa Pagbabago (“Open Door Towards Change”) program that will provide skills training and employment opportunities to former users and dependents.
“Everyone deserves a second chance. We believe in the willingness to change and strong potential of former drug users to join or rejoin the workforce,” said NGCP in a statement.
NGCP cited the finding of the National Anti-Poverty Commission, based on figures from the Dangerous Drugs Board in 2015, that around 26 percent or one in four of the 2.3-million drug users in the Philippines are unemployed.
“A productive and effective way to wage war on drugs is to provide adequate training and employment opportunities to former drug users, so that they can turn their lives around and provide a better life for themselves and for their families,” it said.
To date, information from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency reveals that there are already 1.2-million drug users who have voluntarily turned themselves in for rehabilitation.
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, however, pointed out that former drug dependents still need assistance to obtain decent jobs.
NGCP said Bukas na Pintuan Tungo sa Pagbabago not only addresses the need for more skilled workers in the country, but also provides recovering drug users the assistance and support they need to steer them back to the right path.
“As the program’s name suggests, we want to open doors to positive change and more productive lives. We also hope that with these opportunities, former drug users will permanently turn their backs on illegal drugs,” added NGCP.
As a CSR program of NGCP, Bukas na Pintuan Tungo sa Pagbabago is being piloted in Bataan. It will support the Bahay Pagbabago Reformation Centers of the Provincial Government of Bataan, which were designed to actively help former drug dependents who have voluntarily surrendered for rehabilitation.
Bukas na Pintuan’s pilot projects will be implemented in three Bahay Pagbabago Reformation Centers located in the municipalities of Dinalupihan, Orion, and Balanga City.
NGCP has allocated a combined PhP10 million for the program in 2017 and 2018.
The amount will go towards funding the operational expenses and the supplies and materials needed for the skills development training under TESDA. It will also cover the honoraria of the program trainers and the assessment fee of the trainees to acquire National Certification II (NC II) in Scaffolding Erection and Pipefitting.
“Our end-goal is for the beneficiaries to become TESDA-certified, so that they have a better chance of securing viable employment and livelihood opportunities,” esaid NGCP.
NGCP aims to have up to 2,100 program beneficiaries over the two-year period. It will work closely with the local government units (LGUs) of the host municipalities to identify the beneficiaries, and coordinate with TESDA for the training programs and the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) for the employment of the program graduates.