Only 74 towns, cities in WV have Balay Silangan

PDEA 6 Photo

By Jennifer P. Rendon

Six years since its launch, many municipalities and cities across Western Visayas have yet to comply with the Balay Silangan Reformation Program, which involves building temporary shelters for drug offenders.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 6 reported that it inaugurated the 74th Balay Silangan facility on May 29, located in Brgy. Mambulac, Silay City, Negros Occidental.

Balay Silangan was designed as a reformative rehabilitation initiative, offering intervention for qualified pushers who have surrendered and plea bargainers not eligible for the Community-Based Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Program.

This multi-sectoral reformation house serves as a second home for Persons Who Used Drugs (PWUD) aiming to become productive, law-abiding, and god-fearing citizens.

The program also facilitates their reintegration into their communities.

Ma. Graziella Tanaleon, PDEA-6 public information officer, stated that Silay City’s Balay Silangan is only the seventh in Negros Occidental province.

In contrast, all 17 municipalities of Aklan province have established their own Balay Silangan facilities. Iloilo province has 29, Capiz has 12, Antique has five, Guimaras has three, and Bacolod City has one.

Region 6 includes two highly urbanized cities, 14 component cities, and 117 municipalities.

Tanaleon noted that municipalities or cities without their own facility could enter into a memorandum of agreement with local governments that already have one.

The establishment of Balay Silangan Reformation Centers aligns with Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 2, series of 2018, titled “Balay Silangan – Guidelines for Community Involvement in Reforming Drug Offenders into Self-Sufficient and Law-Abiding Members of Society,” which was amended by DDB Reg. 3, Series of 2022.

National and local agencies involved in Balay Silangan’s operations include the Municipal Health Office, the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the Department of Health, and civil society organizations.

The establishment of these facilities is a prerequisite for the issuance of a “Drug Cleared” certificate.

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