The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) together with the local government of Cabanatuan City, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Philippine National Police (PNP) inaugurated the country’s second community-based reformation center aimed to rehabilitate drug offenders in Cabanatuan City and in the province of Nueva Ecija on May 24, 2018.
PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino inaugurated the completion of 100-Bed capacity Balay Silangan Reformatory Center together with 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, employees and its barangay officials; Nueva Ecija 3rd District Representative Rosanna V. Vergara; and Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan of Capas, Tarlac; Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region 3 Regional Director Julie Daquioag; DILG Provincial Director Renato Bernardino; Police Senior Superintendent Oscar Jacildo, Chief Regional Police Community Division; and Nueva Ecija Provincial Police Provincial Director PSSUPT Eliseo Tanding.
“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,” Aquino said.
Balay Silangan Reformation Program in Cabanatuan City is the pilot project of PDEA in Luzon which was funded by the City Government of Cabanatuan City through the initiative of Mayor Julius Cesar “Jay” Vergara.
The Cabanatuan City allocated P1.2 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 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.
Balay Silangan is PDEA’s pilot harm-reduction program. This is a national drug reformation program created based on the concept of “Balay Pagbabago” (Presidential residence in Malacañang, Manila) that caters to drug personalities referred to authorities with provisions of livelihood training programs, after-care community and social re-integration programs.
Balay Silangan 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 was later expanded to the rest of Police Regional Office 3 (PRO 3) under the leadership of PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino, who was then the Regional Director of PRO 3.
Aquino added, “This reformation center 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”.