At least 30 drug offenders with existing court orders from the South Cotabato Rehabilitation and Detention Center (SCRDC) is set to avail of the services from the newly-opened South Cotabato Balay Silangan Reformatory Center instead of being catered by other rehabilitation facilities from other areas.
SCRDC acting jail warden Felicito Gumapac said, the opening of this facility is not only a big relief to decongest the provincial jail, but it is also of big help to the families of these drug offenders.
“It would entail bigger cost if these patients will be sent to other rehabilitation centers.” He said,
He added, more than 20 drug offenders were already sent to other drug rehabilitation centers due to the absence of such a facility in the province while others remain at the SCRDC due to lack of finances.
Gumapac is happy the facility is finally built within the province.
“ Aside from being reformed, clients will also get to avail training and livelihood assistance from concerned agencies,” Gumapac said,
Under the guidelines set by the Dangerous Drugs Board for Balay Silangan, aside from drug personalities from the SCRDC, other personalities eligible for the program include those who voluntarily surrendered and do not belong to the PDEA and PNP target list, watch list or has any other pending criminal cases; and those who availed of the plea bargaining and / or convicted under Section 15 (Use of Dangerous Drugs) of the RA 9165 .
Upon the order to Governor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr., the facility which is patterned after the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency’s (PDEA) Balay Silangan program, the agency’s flagship reformation initiative for drug offenders, the SCBSRC is finally opened in less than two months.
It is a tripartite project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Office who donated the lot which was formerly the Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY), LGU Tupi, where the facility is located and the Provincial Government of South Cotabato through the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council for funding support.
The inauguration and blessing held today at Purok -3A Brgy. Poblacion, Tupi was graced by PDEA Deputy Director-General for Administration Ret. Col. Ricardo S. Santiago, DSWD 12 Regional Director Cesario D. Espejo Jr., PDEA 12 Regional Director Naravy Duquiatan and Tupi Mayor Romeo Tamayo.
“Nothing is impossible if there is cooperation from everybody.” Governor Tamayo Jr. said,