(File photo)

“Balay Silangan,” a facility that will rehabilitate drug surrenderees, will soon rise in Roxas town, an official said Friday.

Richcristopher Magbanua, program manager of the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC), said the project is initiated by the provincial government, local government units (LGUs), and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

All municipalities should have their own drug facilities to strengthen the campaign against illegal drugs, but they have limited funds, he said.

“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. Kaya itong sa Roxas ay tulong-tulong ang lahat para masimulang magawa,” he said.

Palawan’s other Balay Silangan is located in Quezon town.

He said that drug surrenderees from neighboring towns may submit themselves voluntarily to be rehabilitated in the nearest Balay Silangan.

“Lahat ng mga surrenderees sa south ay pwede naman na doon sila sa Quezon, ganoon din sa Roxas. Ang mas maganda sana ay kung saan sila nakatira ay doon na rin, pero dahil nga wala pa tayong sapat na facility dyan ay ganoon muna,” Magbanua pointed out.

On January 2018, the PDEA Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Regulation No. 2, Series of 2018, adopted the groundworks for Balay Silangan that aims to renew their life.

It is 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.

Livelihood and skills training programs are also part of the rehab like soap making, massage training, basic carpentry, welding, haircutting that will provide drug employment opportunities for them.

Magbanua said they are also tasked to join the information and education campaign, particularly in highly drug affected areas.

“Kasama rin dyan sa role natin syempre ay ang information campaign, alam naman natin bawal ang droga at mas lalo pa itong tututukan ng pamahalaan ngayon,” Magbanua said.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.