Sunday, 20 September 2020

Malungon to pilot PDEA’s “Balay Silangan” program in Mindanao

MALUNGON, Sarangani (May 2, 2018) – Local police, health and government officials led by Mayor Maria Theresa D. Constantino have officially had the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency’s (PDEA) assigned undertaking for Malungon Municipality to be the first-ever Mindanao-based district to replicate the newly launched “Balay Silangan” reformation program.

This developed after the Balay Silangan National Oversight Committee has chosen Malungon Municipality in Sarangani, together with the cities of Caloocan, Cabanatuan and the province of Capiz as the four pilot sites for the implementation of the said program in the country.

Constantino, with local police chief PSupt. Ramon Gencianos and Assistant Municipal Health Officer Dr. Jec Pane, was among the selected ranking government officials and dignitaries invited to grace the April 25 “Balay Silangan” program launching that was spotlighted with the official signing of a memorandum of agreement and manifesto of commitment between ranking PDEA officials headed by DGen. Aaron Aquino and the National Oversight Committee at the PDEA National Headquarters in Quezon City.

In partnership with the Dangerous Drugs Board, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Social Welfare Department, Philippine National Police, Department of National Defense, Armed Forces, and other national-based government agencies, the newly set up program that is said to be a brainchild of PDEA Dir. Gen. Aquino, focuses on offering temporary refuge, along with a promise of renewed life, for surrendered drug personalities across the country, particularly for those drug offenders who availed of the plea bargaining agreement and have not been assessed as users who need treatment and rehabilitation in a health facility.

Designed as a community-based reformation program that proposes to rehabilitate surrendered personalities, Aquino in an agency released statement, said the program will be stressed on a “home-centered approach that would convince drug offenders to give themselves a second chance in life.”

Aquino, however, also revealed some specific conditions for those who would be able to avail the program, which limits for those listed high value targets of both the anti-drug agency and the police force, including those who are having pending criminal liabilities in court.

“By giving them a new lease of life, drug surrenderers may well become reformers. The government will provide refuge where drug offenders can pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and make themselves whole again,” Aquino added.

Constantino for her part, said the LGU, together with all the local-based government agencies will always stick to its anti-drug policies, as it adheres on all of legal solutions that the government would like to emphasize, specifically on President Rodrigo Duterte’s ardent desire to possess a drug-free nation.

A former legal officer of the elite PDEA12, she is also counted as the first ever local government chief executive to initiate the means of establishing the first-ever Outpatient Reformatory and Treatment Center for Drug Dependents in the whole of Central Mindanao Region. (MALUNGON INFORMATION OFFICE)

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