By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is considering Bacolod City as a possible pilot area for the “Balay Silangan Reformation” program, which is intended to rehabilitate and reform drug offenders.
In a letter signed by PDEA Director Aaron Aquino, with sites inaugurated in Sarangani, Nueva Ecija, and Caloocan City, Bacolod City would serve as a pilot site for the Visayas.
In response to the letter, Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia said it was “very heartening” to be considered for the program, saying, the city has a “good record” when it comes to the campaign against illegal drugs.
Leonardia noted the Dangerous Drugs Board earlier approved a P10 million grant for the city’s drug rehabilitation centers.
He added, the city is currently seeking funding to construct a rehabilitation center.
Meanwhile, during the recent City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (CADAC) meeting, Leonardia recognized efforts made by Bacolod City Barangays 5, 24, and 41 in their bid to be declared drug-cleared.
The decision to declare barangays drug-free is under the PDEA oversight committee, which check if the communities passed certain requirements set by the agency.
Eight other Bacolod City barangays are also under drug-free barangay consideration in the future./DGB, WDJ