The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Pangasinan provincial office has inaugurated the Balay Silangan Reformation Center in this town, the fourth in the entire province.
In a phone interview on Thursday, PDEA Pangasinan director Rechie Camacho said there are nine reformists as initial clients of the center who will undergo general interventions like continuing education, health awareness, psychological, spiritual and physical activities such as counseling, moral recovery, values formation, personal and life skills.
“There are three phases to the community-based rehabilitation at the center. The first phase is the mandatory in-house rehabilitation wherein clients will learn about the ill effects of illegal drugs and the related laws. In phase two, the clients will be outpatients wherein they will undergo counseling and consultation by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and moral recovery programs by religious sectors,” he said.
He added the third phase is the livelihood program with assistance from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Trade and Industry, and in some instance by private companies.
Camacho said Balungao Mayor Maria Theresa Peralta during the inauguration rites on June 13 vowed to hire the initial clients of the reformation center once they finished the program.
He said while all the barangays in the town have already been drug-cleared, the need to put up a Balay Silangan used to be a hindrance to the town’s declaration as drug-cleared.
Camacho said the establishment of the Balay Silangan, which was required of every local government unit (LGU) in the entire country to attain the drug-cleared status, was set aside due to the pandemic.
“The LGUs needed to focus on the Covid-19 response as well as redirect their funding, and even the facility that was supposed to be for the center was turned into isolation facilities. But now, some LGUs are already working again on their Balay Silangan,” he said.
The other Balay Silangan centers in the province are in Sison and Basista towns, and San Carlos City.
Source: Philippines News Agency