MALASIQUI, Pangasinan – Some 2,227 barangays in the Ilocos Region have been declared drug-cleared by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) as of June 22 this year.
In a virtual forum Kapihan ed Ilocos of the Philippine Information Agency regional office on Wednesday, PDEA Ilocos regional director Bryan Babang said there are now some 702 barangays in the region remaining to be drug-cleared.
“Our operations and other activities are ongoing to assist the local government units in clearing their villages of illegal drugs,” he said.
Meanwhile, Babang said there are now 22 Balay Silangan, a reformation center for drug offenders, in the region.
“(The Balay Silangan is) more on the reformation in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and the Department of Trade and Industry to develop skills of clients since the target are drug pushers who might have engaged in the illegal drug trade due to their lack of economic activity,” he said.
Babang said the center provides religious or spiritual and psychological interventions, aside from the skills training.
“There are 214 clients at present while there were 74 graduates from the Balay Silangan,” he added.
Department of Health Treatment and Rehabilitation Center chief health program officer Dr. Rosalina Caoile said they also involve the family of the clients through spiritual enhancement and sports fest, among other activities. (PNA)