THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency on Thursday together with the Cabanatuan City local government, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Philippine National Police (PNP) inaugurated the country’s second community-based reformation center for drug dependents.
PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino led the simple inauguration rites of the 100-Bed capacity Balay Silangan Reformatory Center in historic Cabanatuan City.
The inauguration was witnessed by PDEA Service Directors from the National Headquarters, PDEA Region Office 3 Regional Director Atty. Gil T. Pabilona, Cabanatuan City Mayor Julius Cesar V. Vergara, Cabanatuan City government officials and employees, Nueva Ecija 3rd District Representative Rosanna V. Vergara, Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan of Capas, Tarlac; Department of Interior and Local Government Region 3 Regional Director Julie Daquioag, DILG Provincial Director Renato Bernardino, Police Senior Superintendent Oscar Jacildo, and Nueva Ecija Provincial Police Provincial Director Senior Superintendent Eliseo Tanding.
Aquino, in his inaugural speech, explained “the Balay Silangan Reformation Program of PDEA was created by virtue of Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Regulation No. 2 series of 2018. This program is a holistic and compassionate approach of helping drug offenders to integrate in the society by making them more productive and acceptable in the society.”
Balay Silangan Reformation Program is PDEA’s pilot harm-reduction program. It is a national drug reformation program based on the concept of “Balay Pagbabago,” the Presidential residence in Malacañang, Manila. It caters to drug personalities referred to by the authorities with provisions for livelihood training, after-care community and social re-integration programs.
The program, which was funded by the City Government of Cabanatuan City through the initiative of its mayor, is designed to provide family-based in-house reformation for drug offenders based on the concept of Bahay Pagbabago a reformation center that was also conceptualized and implemented in the province of Bataan and later expanded to the rest of Central Luzon.
The Cabanatuan City allocated PhP1.2 million for the construction and purchases of fixtures for the operation of the reformation center. The facility could accommodate drug surrenderers’ from nearby provinces and areas covered by Region 3.
Aquino said Balay Silangan “serves as an alternative intervention for drug offenders who are not eligible to be admitted in the treatment and rehabilitation facilities supervised by the Department of Health.”
Meanwhile, Aquino thanked the city government officials of Cabanatuan for their support to PDEA as he urged all local government officials, stakeholders to support the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.