Oct 1, 2020

2nd Balay Silangan rises in Roxas town

Incumbent Roxas mayor Angela Sabando (1st from right holding the ribbon) leads the opening of the 2nd Bahay Silangan in her town. She is joined by PDEA Region IV-B acting regional director Mario Ramos (1st from left). (Photo courtesy of Palawan PIO)

The second “Balay Silangan” in Palawan to help rehabilitate drug surrenderees opened its doors on Monday in Roxas town.

The first facility in the province was opened in Quezon town last February.

Richcristopher Magbanua, program manager of the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC), said drug surrenderees from neighboring towns can submit themselves voluntarily for rehabilitation to the Balay Silangan.

“Lahat ng mga surrenderees [sa north] ay pwede na doon sa Roxas. Mas maganda sana kung saan sila nakatira ay doon na rin, pero dahil nga wala pa tayong sapat na facility dyan ay ganoon muna. Actually, ang sabi ng PDEA kung maaari lahat sana [ng munisipyo] ay malagyan pero mahirap na ngayon tayo magpilit dahil wala pang pondo ang munisipyo,” he said.

The putting up of a Balay Silangan is mandated under a joint resolution of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Regulation No. 2, Series of 2018 that offers temporary shelter for drug surrenderees.

Under the order, all local government units are required to put up these facilities but limited by the lack of funds.

It is part of the national government’s reformation program that offers temporary refuge where they will be provided general intervention initiatives in education, health, moral recovery, values formation, personal life skills and other psychological, spiritual and physical activities.

The facility also offers livelihood and skills training programs like soap-making, massage training, basic carpentry, welding, and haircutting that will provide drug employment opportunities for them.

“Alam naman natin bawal ang droga at mas lalo pa itong tututukan ng pamahalaan ngayon kaya kasama d’yan sa mga gagawin natin ay ang information campaign,” Magbanua said.

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