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Friday, January 21, 2022
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Ozamiz ‘Tokhang’ responders receive livelihood package

OZAMIZ City––Fifty-one persons formerly involved in the drug trade received livelihood assistance from this city’s local government with aid amounting to about P1 million.

The giving of the livelihood package is part of the intervention initiated by the city government aimed at empowering those who were former drug users and sellers, said Mayor Reynaldo O. Parojinog Sr.

Parojinog said the program was designed to lift those who responded to the “Oplan Tokhang” (knock and plead) initiative of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte in an effort to eliminate the illegal drug industry in the country.

Throughout the Philippines, hundreds of thousands of individuals turned themselves in under the Oplan Tokhang. In Ozamiz, more than a thousand had done the same.

Parojinog said giving people legitimate means to earn a living is the best way for them to turn away from

“I understand people are into drug selling due to poverty. This (livelihood) is our answer to their needs,” he said during the turn-over of the livelihood project to the second batch of “Tokhang” responders held at the City Hall grounds recently.

Parojinog said once the livelihood program takes off, more packages will be given to those who are interested in starting their own business the legal way.

So far, the beneficiaries were given what livelihood to undertake, among them, pig dispersal, rolling store, backyard gardening, and livestock raising.

For her part, Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog said the challenge for the beneficiaries is how to sustain the livelihood given to them.

“This is a test of discipline, how they can take care of the business enterprise given to them,” she said, adding the Tokhang responders who have availed of the livelihood package will be monitored and if further assistance is needed, the city government will extend it to them.

For Amalita Antonio, 29, of Barangay Triunfo, the rolling store given to her and live-in partner Kenneth Sarmiento will help them start a new life with their five children.

Antonio was a seller for a year who was forced to go into dealing in shabu due to financial hardship.

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