Pangasinan reform center for drug surrenderers opens Feb. 28

SAN JACINTO, Pangasinan – To give in-house after-care training to drug surrenders who have undergone the Community-Based Rehabilitation Program (CBRP), the provincial government has set the inauguration and blessing of its newly completed Pangasinan Reformation Center on February 28.

Located on a two-hectare donated land in  Barangay San Vicente, Burgos, Pangasinan, the center is the response of Pangasinan’s provincial government led by Governor Amado Espino III to the continuing war on drugs, which has led to the voluntary surrender of some 19,000 drug personalities in Pangasinan on the watch list.

Retired Philippine Navy Col. Carlos Resurreccion, head of the secretariat of the Provincial Anti-Drug-Abuse Coordinating Council (PDACC), was designated by Gov. Espino as overall in charge of the center.

The center will be operational March 7 when it admits the first batch of surrenderers, Resurrecion told newsmen on Tuesday on the sidelines of the ceremony that declared San Jacinto as the 18th Pangasinan town that has gained a drug-free status.

He said that although the center can accommodate 100 to 150 drug surrenderers at one time, the first batch on March 7 will only comprise 50.

Resurreccion said the center will not implement another value formation program as this will only be a duplication of the CBRP, which many of the surrenderers have already undergone.

Instead, he said, it will focus on the livelihood training of the surrenderers as an after-care intervention to help them sustain the needs of their families.

Resurreccion said the center has complete facilities like dormitories, classrooms, mess hall, kitchen, lavatories, and others.

After the CBRP, there is a tendency for the reformed drug surrenderers to return to their old habits and by giving them after-care program on livelihood, they hopefully would continue to go straight, he added.

Resurreccion said the initial plan was to conduct at least two training sessions a month until all the drug surrenderers, numbering more than 19,000 all over the province, shall have been trained.

“We would like to emphasize that going to the Provincial Reformation Center is voluntary on the part of the drug surrenderers. This is not being required of them,” he said.

However, he added that since this is a good program, they should not lose the opportunity to become  a part of it.