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Caritas Manila helping drug addicts in social entrepreneurship

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila.  - AFP

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila. - AFP

19/09/2016 15:57

The social action arm of the Philippine Archdiocese of Manila concluded a 3-day programme on Sunday, in which  drug addicts were offered livelihood training and marketing assistance. "Part of the church's drug rehabilitation and restoration program is to give [drug users] new opportunities through alternative livelihood programmes," said Father Anton Pascual, executive director of Caritas Manila.  He said the church will use its social enterprise marketing arm, Caritas Margins, to provide help to victims of illegal drugs. "We want them to become social entrepreneurs," said the priest in an interview on Sept. 16.  Caritas Margins showcased various products from different community partners, such as artwork from inmates of penal communities under the Caritas Restorative Justice Ministry.  The priest said that extending the program to drug offenders is one way of reintegrating them to society.

Manila Archbishop, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle last week welcomed drug addicts who have responded to the government's call to surrender to church-run rehabilitation programmes.  "We welcome you with all our hearts and we pray that your humility to surrender and the decision to have a new life be blessed by God," the cardinal said on Sept. 15, in an address to drug addicts in Manila.  "We are here for you. We love you. Let us not waste life, it is important, and it has to be protected and nurtured," he said.  The archdiocese will also provide livelihood projects and skills formation that will be "beneficial for everyone to use their God-given skills and talent."  Manila Archdiocese has opened several community-based rehabilitation programmes for drug addicts in parishes.

The number of drug-related killings in the Philippines since Rodrigo Duterte became president two months ago on a pledge to wipe out the illegal
drug trade, has reached around 2,000, according to data released on Tuesday.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Sunday he needed six more months for his war on drugs, saying he only realised how bad the country's narcotics problem was after taking office over two months ago.  Duterte, a former crime-busting mayor of the southern city of Davao, won the presidency in May promising to suppress crime and wipe out drugs and drug dealers in three to six months.  More than 3,500 people - or about 47 per day - have been killed in the past 10 weeks in connection with the illegal drugs trade, nearly two thirds by unknown assailants and the rest in legitimate police operations, according to local police. (Source: UCAN/Reuters)

19/09/2016 15:57