MANILA The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) unveiled on Wednesday the country's third community-based reformation center for drug offenders at the North Medical Center, Camarin Road in Caloocan City.
The Balay Silangan Reformation Center, or house of hope, aims to shelter drug offenders as they turn themselves into self-sufficient and law-abiding members of society.
"Initially, it will accommodate drug surrenderers from the city and eventually from nearby cities in Metro Manila, PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino said, as he led the inauguration of the 30-bed capacity Balay Silangan All-Female Reformation Center, together with officials of Caloocan City, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
This all-female reformation center will help women drug offenders to learn values formation, livelihood training and social norms in preparation for their reintegration to society. The life coaching skills training will prevent them from returning to their old ways, Aquino added.
The PDEA chief also thanked the Caloocan City government for its support to PDEA as he urged all local government officials and stakeholders to support the government's campaign against illegal drugs.
The Caloocan City government is funding the Balay Silangan Reformation Program in the city.
Aquino said the initiative is the agency's pilot harm-reduction program aimed at boosting efforts to clear 26,000 barangays in the country of illegal drugs.
This program shows that PDEA values life, despite pursuing the war against drugs, he said, noting that government agencies want former drug offenders to have the opportunity to rehabilitate so they could regain their dignity and place in society.
PDEA is continuously enhancing its operations and programs for the holistic resolution of the country's drug problem by clearing barangay by barangay from the drug menace. Balay Silangan, as a priority initiative, is one of them, Aquino said.
The Balay Silangan Reformation Program of PDEA, created by virtue of Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Regulation No. 2 series of 2018, is a holistic and compassionate approach to help drug offenders to again become productive and acceptable members of society.
Joining Aquino during the inauguration were PDEA Service Directors from the National Headquarters; Caloocan City Mayor Oscar Malapitan; Caloocan City government officials, employees and barangay officials; DILG Officer-In-Charge Eduardo M. AAo; DDB Chairman Catalino S. Cuy; Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana; Trade Secretary Ramon N. Lopez; Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Secretary Guilang Mamondiong; PNP Director General Oscar D. Albayalde; Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Carlito G. Galvez Jr.; and Department of Social Welfare and Development Undersecretary Emmanuel A. Leyco, among others.
Last May 22, Aquino also inaugurated the country's first community-based reformation center, the Malungon Outpatient Reformatory and Treatment Center for Drug Dependents, in Barangay Nagpan, Malungon, Sarangani.
Two days later on May 24, he inaugurated the Balay Silangan Reformation Program in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, PDEA's pilot project in Luzon.
The agency has also chosen Jamindan, Capiz as its pilot area for the Balay Silangan program in Western Visayas. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency