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Ex-drug dependents join Kidapawan community pantry initiative

Updated: May 3, 2021

By John Andrew Tabugoc / Philippine News Agency

PANTRY VOLUNTEERS. The community pantry at the compound of the Holy Mediatrix of All Grace Cathedral grounds in Kidapawan City, where police officers and volunteers from the Balik-Pangarap group joined to manage the initiative on Tuesday (April 27, 2021). Members of the Balik Pangarap are rehabilitated illegal drug users now living normal lives. (Photos courtesy of Kidapawan CIO)

KIDAPAWAN CITY – The Balik-Pangarap organization, a group of drug surrenderers, joined the local church and government agencies in establishing the Community Kindness Pantry Station at the Holy Mediatrix of All Grace Cathedral grounds here Tuesday.

The Diocese of Kidapawan initiated the community pantry together with the local police, the military, and the Balik Pangarap volunteers.

Joel Aguirre, the Balik-Pangarap focal person, said the group is helping extend food items and other essential items to the community to cushion the impact of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

“This is our little way of giving back to the community that gave the former drug dependents a chance to restore their normal lives,” Aguirre said.

Balik-Pangarap members brought canned goods and backyard vegetables while also volunteering to help facilitate through proper health protocols the pantry inside the cathedral grounds.

Aguirre said the pantry initiative is also a way for the former drug users to reconnect with mainstream society.

“I am not a psychologist but I do believe that this act will literally improve their behavior and perspective as a whole”, he said.

The city government established the Balik-Pangarap program to rehabilitate and reintegrate drug dependents into the society they once left behind due to illegal drug use.

The Dangerous Drugs Board has recognized the local program for its drug prevention, education, and rehabilitation strategies. (PNA)



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