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LGUs urged to open more centers for drug reformists

By Connie Calipay

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Bicol (PDEA-5) on Tuesday urged all local government units (LGUs) in the region to open Balay Silangan Reformation Centers to provide a humane and compassionate way to former drug users and peddlers to completely turn their lives around.

In a phone interview, Carlo Fernandez III, PDEA Bicol information officer, said the reformation centers give the “right tools” in making the transition into productive members of the community much easier.

“Balay Silangan Reformation Center is one of the requirements for an LGU to be declared as drug-cleared. The agency, through the provincial officers, is constantly in contact with the chief executives, including the punong barangays and heads of other agencies, so that they can establish their own Balay Silangan and it would meet the standards and requirements set by the Dangerous Drugs Board. This month alone, three were opened and another one will be inaugurated. Ideally, all the cities and municipalities located in the Bicol region (must) have their own,” Fernandez said.

He said the reformation centers provide a conducive home for the drug users and peddlers to completely changing their lives into better.

“The stigma of being a drug user or peddler makes it difficult for any person to reintegrate themselves back to society, and possibly, drive them back to their illegal ways. But through our reformation centers, we provide them with the right tools. Our clients are not just given life skills training, but they are also prepared mentally with counseling sessions, health education, and values formation,” he added.

Based on the data provided, 87 Balay Silangan centers have been established in the six provinces of Bicol region, while 31 municipalities and one city have been declared drug-cleared.

In a statement, PDEA Bicol Regional Director Edgar Jubay said the establishment of Balay Silangan Reformation Centers is a testament to the LGUs’ dedication and devotion to helping their residents and their community. (PNA)

BLESSING. Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Bicol (PDEA) and Philippine National Police (PNP) officials attend the inauguration, blessing, and memorandum of agreement signing for a new Balay Silangan Reformation Center in Barangay Sta. Rosa del Norte, Pasacao, Camarines Sur on Tuesday (April 16, 2024). PDEA-Bicol recorded 87 Balay Silangan hubs already established in the six provinces of the region. (Photo courtesy of PDEA-Bicol)


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