(From left to right: ReRe Program Vice Chairman, Nino Ronester Tolingin, City Councilor and Committee chairman of Peace and Order Domingo Armenton, City of Bogo Mayor Atty. Carlo Martinez, Dr. Rey Bautista, 19 ReRe graduates (wearing black ReRe shirt), City Councilor Lyndon Acusar and PNP Chief Byron Allatog)

May 8, 2017 – “We are not bad guys trying to be good, but we are sick persons trying to be better” says Tracy Maramba during the Graduation Ceremony for former drug dependents under the Rehabiliation and Reintegration (ReRe) Program of the City of Bogo. Maramba and 18 others marked a milestone in their recovery as 6 of them, including Maramba is now 180-days clean of illegal drugs, with the remaining 13 marking 90-days without drugs.

To be a ReRe graduate, one must continuously attend the twice-a-week ReRe barkadahay sessions at the Bogo City Sports Complex and test negative for illegal drugs during those sessions.

Police Chief Superintendent Byron Allatog challenged the newly graduates to at least convince 5 surrenderers from each of them to join the ReRe session.

City of Bogo Mayor Carlo Martinez enjoined the graduates to not neglect the good that they have already started. He believes everybody deserves a second chance. He told the graduates that they already helped the community just by setting an example and from that they already gained back the trust of their families, friends and the community.

With more than 1,900 drug surrenderers, the 19 graduates is relatively small. Mayor Martinez said that the ReRe Program is not after publicity but to produce quality outputs, without looking at the numbers.

Four of the graduates are now peer facilitators of the ReRe sessions in the barangays.

Meanwhile, 17-year old Jaime Piañar, a recovering drug dependent under the ReRe program, received 10,000-peso worth of groceries to start a sari-sari store the proceeds of which will be used by his family for his schooling. Jaime is also the current youth ambassador representing the ReRe Program.

Dr. Rey Bautista from the Talisay City After-care Group said that the graduation day was just another day in recovery. Dr. Bautista coined the phrase “Live life one at a time” which the ReRe Program lives by. Dr. Bautista is the head of the Talisay City After-care Group which was benchmarked by Bogo City. Together with recovering drug dependents from Talisay City, he was present during the graduation to witness what he claimed as a “miracle”.