Discipline: Social Science
Drug dependency is strongly connected with poverty and gender issues. An initiative of the University of Southeastern Philippines’ Extension Office and the Archdiocesan Action Center of Davao City, the Sagop Kinabuhi Program 2 (SKP2) aims to provide socioeconomic opportunities to former drug users. This paper details the participatory action research that involves this marginalized sector, their families and the representatives of the various government and nongovernment agencies comprising the SKP2 platform. Using critical systemic approach to address issues related to drug dependency, poverty and vulnerability, the participants were led to regain their self-respect and self-confidence through various pathways designed to enhance their skills and capabilities. Their narratives and the findings suggest that the dominant strategies being used to address the problems confronted by the drug dependents and their families are positivist and systematic. They do not reflect the individual voice, choice and agency of the victims of drug dependency. Community drug rehabilitation therefore must be systemic and inclusive to ensure that the strategies used are reflective of the real interests of this sector and their families.