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FTCA Holds Successful 2nd International Conference in The Philippines

The 2nd International Conference of the Federation of Therapeutic Communities in Asia (FTCA), hosted by SELF with the solid support of its Family Association (FAM), was an unqualified success with close to 200 participants from Asia and around the world in attendance. Held on February 20-22 at the Novotel Hotel in Quezon City, it featured a total of 22 distinguished speakers who covered a diverse range of topics in eight plenary sessions. Including the Philippines, a total of 18 countries were represented: Australia, Bangladesh, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Nepal, Macau, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, and the USA.


 


The Opening Ceremonies was simple yet meaningful. After Martin Infante gave the Opening Remarks as President of the FTCA and Conference Chair, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte welcomed the guests to her city. She went on to talk about her administration’s commitment to upholding human rights as a basic policy and in line with this her “No Women Left Behind” program that ensures the welfare of women who are incarcerated. The heads of two Philippine agencies directly concerned with addressing the problem of drug abuse then gave messages of support: Secretary Catalino Cuy, Chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB); and Undersecretary Gloria Balboa of the Department of Health (DOH).


 


Dr. Sushma Taylor, president of the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities (WFTC), spoke next, and talked about how member organizations throughout the world have successfully developed and employed effective TC program models for the past 64 years to treat substance dependence disorders. She ended by saying, “It is my hope that together we can all continue to make a difference.” The session was closed by a report on the grim reality of the continued proliferation of drugs throughout the world by Daniele Marchesi, the Country Manager of the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) in the Philippines.


 


Over the course of three days a wealth of knowledge and experience was shared by the speakers on diverse themes. Cont.




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