GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Three more government-operated drug rehabilitation centers will be established starting this year in Region 12 (Soccsksargen).
Katryn Gaye Abad, spokesperson of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Region 12, said that initial preparations are underway for the implementation of the projects funded by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB).
She said these will be located in Polomolok in South Cotabato, Kabacan in North Cotabato, and Isulan in Sultan Kudarat. These will be similar to the newly completed drug rehabilitation center in Malungon town, Sarangani.
The exact sites of the facilities, which will cost PHP5 million each, have yet to be finalized as of Tuesday by the DDB and PDEA.
But Abad said the initial planning and coordination meetings for the financing and implementation of the facilities have already been conducted in coordination with the concerned local government units.
“It will cater to drug users who could not be catered by other facilities (in the region),” she told reporters.
The region currently has two government-operated drug rehabilitation facilities situated in Barangay Kawas, Alabel town and Poblacion in Malungon, Sarangani province. These facilities, which are run by the Department of Health, were constructed two years ago through a grant from the Chinese government.
Abad added that the planned drug rehabilitation facilities will also complement the two existing Balay Silangan drug reformatory centers in the region.
These are the local government-run reformatory centers in Malungon, Sarangani and in Tupi, South Cotabato.
Introduced by PDEA, Balay Silangan or “house of hope” is a temporary shelter intended to reform drug offenders into self-sufficient and law-abiding members of society.
The Balay Silangan in Malungon and Tupi cater to detained “persons who use drugs” who were released after availing plea bargaining agreement from the local courts.
The Malungon center, which moved last month to a new building in Barangay Poblacion built through a PHP9.8-million grant from the Department of the Interior and Local Government, provides both drug rehabilitation and reformation programs. (PNA)