Estrada seeks holistic support system for reformed drug users

(PNA) MANILA – Senator Jinggoy Estrada has filed a measure that seeks to institutionalize a holistic support system for reformed drug users for their reintegration into the workforce and society.

Under Senate Bill (SB) 2276, Estrada proposed a collaboration between the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in developing technical-vocational education and training (TVET) programs specifically created for rehabilitated drug dependents.

The TVET and livelihood programs will focus on equipping individuals with competitive and employable skills, enhancing their chances of finding sustainable employment or pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities.

Besides providing tech-voc and livelihood training, SB 2276 also seeks to provide incentives to establishments that will employ rehabilitated drug dependents who graduated from the TVET programs.

In filing the measure, the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development noted that TESDA has been providing training and livelihood scholarships to former drug dependents since 2016, with 94 percent or 8,200 out of the 8,700 former drug dependents graduating from various TESDA courses.

“This is enough indication of the willingness of a large percentage of former drug dependents to lead better lives. It’s important to sustain the support that is being provided to them and expand its scope to include skills training and productivity enhancement that will prepare them to be self-reliant and qualified for gainful employment,” Estrada said in a statement.

This, he said, would not only improve their families’ economic conditions but also contribute to the country’s development. (PNA)