TACLOBAN CITY – The municipal government of Catarman in Northern Samar province is planning to establish a “Balay Silangan Reformation Center” for drug offenders to help them fully recover.

Mayor Francisco Aurelio Rosales III declared this during his meeting with Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Director Grace Subong.

To fully help the drug surrenderees under their care, Mayor Rosales seeks help from the DSWD, as well as from the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for the “aftercare” program.

“Helping drug offenders will not end in enrolling them at the Balay Silangan. They must be capacitated by providing them life skills including livelihood opportunities because reformation is useless if they have nothing to do when they graduated in this program,” Mayor Rosales said.

Based on the provision of Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No 3. Series of 2022, drug offenders who will be enrolled at the Balay Silangan will be under a three-month reformation program, where one is allocated to attend education, health, psychosocial, and physical activities, then two months livelihood and employment education phase.

The TESDA provincial office, represented by Provincial Director Zosimo De Asis, committed to provide livelihood and development training with allowance to the enrollees, while the DTI provincial office committed to help by providing livelihood training.

The municipal government will temporarily use a multipurpose evacuation center located in Barangay Polagi as the Balay Silangan.

The establishment of a Balay Silangan in Catarman will provide opportunities for illegal drug offenders in the province to undergo a drug reformation program within Northern Samar.

Established by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency through Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Regulation Number 2, Series of 2018, Balay Silangan is a community-based reformation program aimed at rehabilitating surrendered drug personalities across the country by providing temporary shelters to drug offenders with the objective of reforming them into self-sufficient and law-abiding members of society.