VALENZUELA CITY: Some 30 former drug dependents recently graduated from rehabilita­tion received ₱10,000 each from the city government of Valenzuela City. Zyan Caiña, Valenzuela Public Informatio­n Office head, said, “It is one way Valenzuela City is welcoming them back to the society. We want them to start their small businesses.” Caiña said the effort is part of the city’s 18-month after care program dubbed VC Cares Plus. Prior to the awarding of capital grants, the beneficiar­ies also received financial literacy and basic cooperativ­e training facilitate­d by the Cooperativ­e Developmen­t Office (CDO). Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian said, “The local government has done its part. Now it’s up to them to carry on and become productive members of the city.” (Kate Louise B. Javier)

TAGUIG CITY: Two men suspected of being involved in illegal drugs activities were shot dead by unidentifi­ed gunmen in separate incidents in Taguig City, Friday. Senior Superinten­dent Alexander Santos, chief of Taguig City Police, identified the victims as Brianson Esgra and Michael Mesa. According to police, the two were gunned down seven hours apart. Esgra was shot dead along Block 15, Lot 1, Herbs Extension, New Lower Bicutan around 8:45 p.m. Mesa was killed on Visayas Street, Barangay New Lower Bicutan around 1:55 p.m. (Martin A. Sadongdong) QUEZON CITY: The Philippine Drug Enforcemen­t Agency (PDEA) will forge today a twin memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Bureau of Correction­s (BuCor) and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) authorizin­g the agency to put up offices in both jail facilities. PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said the move will allow PDEA agents to perform regular operations in the BuCor and BJMP controlled jails. He added as part of the MOA, the agency will perform similar duties at the Correction­al Institute for Women (CIW). (Chito A. Chavez) ILOILO CITY: Seventy-nine of the 747 drug surrendere­rs have graduated from a community-based rehabilita­tion program initiated by the respective rural health units of the five municipali­ties of Guimaras Province. Data provided by the Guimaras public informatio­n office revealed that as of Monday, 305 drug surrendere­rs were assessed using the Matrix Intensive Out-Patient (MIOP) Rehabilita­tion. The town of Jordan has 108 assessed out of 153 surrendere­rs; 174 from 209 of San Lorenzo; and 23 out of the 25 surrendere­rs from Sibunag. The assessment is still ongoing for 175 surrendere­rs from Buenavista and 185 from Nueva Valencia. The 79 graduates were from the towns of San Lorenzo with 56 and Sibunag with 23. The new screening and assessment using the MIOP was conducted after the Department of Health (DOH) rolled out a training series last year for personnel of the municipal anti-drug abuse council that will spearhead the rehabilita­tion under the helm of the rural health officer.

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