NAUJAN, Oriental Mindoro, Dec. 27 (PIA) – Twenty nine drug surrenderees graduated from ‘Balay Silangan’, the national drug reformation program that offers temporary refuge for drug surrenderees in Naujan.
The graduation ceremony was held at the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) in Brgy. Barcenaga of this town.
The guest of honor during the ceremony was Colonel Ricardo Santiago, deputy director general of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
According to PDEA Mimaropa Acting Public Information Officer Angeline A. Cusi, the Balay Silangan Program was adopted on January 24, 2018 by the Dangerous Drugs Board.
The ‘Balay Silangan’ is located in the municipality of Naujan, which according to Mayor Mark N. Marcos, is the first in Mimaropa region to produce graduates, while it is the third nationwide.
Marcos described the graduates as ‘Mimaropa BS Class 2018-001 Drug-free Warriors’.
In ‘Balay Silangan,’ drug surrenderees undergo continuing education and health awareness, values formation, physical activities including spiritual and psychological counseling, among other things.
The program also provides skills trainings to surrenderees for better employment opportunities. The skills training include soap making, massage, basic carpentry, welding, haircutting, among others.
It can be recalled that prior to the creation of ‘Balay Silangan,’ the building was supposed to be used as sanctuary for abused women and children, but now it is used by the local government in the national campaign against illegal drugs as explained by Mayor Marcos.