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MAASIN CITY, March 13 (PIA) – With the objective of reforming drug offenders in Southern Leyte province into self-sufficient and law-abiding members of society, the Balay Silangan Reformatory and Rehabilitation Center was built in Barangay Libas of Hinunangan town.

Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Feliciano John Maitbag said the Center will accommodate drug personalities who surrendered and who will undergo reformation program, during the recent joint Provincial Peace and Order Council and Provincial Drug Abuse Council meeting at DPWH conference Hall.

Matibag said that the existing P5 million Balay Silangan Reformatory and Rehabilitation Center building was realized with funding from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Matibag added that that there are legal basis why the province of Southern Leyte came up with the community based- center.

“It is because of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) guidelines for the community to be involved in reforming drug offenders into self-sufficient and law abiding members of society,” he said.

The “Balay Silangan” reformation program is an alternative intervention for drug personalities who are not eligible to undergo medical treatment and rehabilitation in facilities supervised by the Department of Health, it was learned.

As of this writing, the province of Southern Leyte is now working to operationalize the Balay Silangan Reformatory and Rehabilitation Center.

Aside from the daily operations that need to be addressed, there are other factors to consider, particularly the manpower, furniture and fixtures, Matibag said.

“We have to work hand-in-hand so that the community-based rehab center will be operational,” he said, referring to the local government units’ support to include the provincial government.

The reformatory program also provides general interventions like continuing education and health awareness, psychological, spiritual, and physical activities such as counselling, moral recovery, values formation, personal and life skills, among others.

Livelihood and skills training programs which include soap making, massage training, basic carpentry, welding, and hair cutting will also be provided to give them employment opportunities through inter-agency collaboration. (LDL/RGC/PIA8-SoLeyte)