Reformation Centers dubbed as Bahay Pagbabago are expected to be fully operational in the three cities and 21 towns of Bulacan this week to give temporary shelter and rehabilitate drug users and dealers who have surrendered to the police since July 2016.
The rehabilitation facilities are in response to the challenge posed by thousands of surrenderers who had volunteered to undergo reform to be free from illegal drug use.
Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr., acting Bulacan police director, said since Monday last week almost half of the 24 Bahay Pagbabago were inaugurated and immediately took in the first batch to undergo rehabilitation.
To date, Bulacan has a total of 18,383 surrenderers — 17,413 users and 670 confessed pushers.
Among the top three local government units (LGUs) with surrenderers are Malolos City with the highest — 2,243; followed by the towns of Hagonoy with 1,770 and Calumpit — 1,153.
Norzagaray Police Station was the first to comply with a directive of Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3) director, Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, for all local chiefs of police to put up drug reformatory centers in coordination with the LGUs.
Supt. Rizalino Andaya, Norzagaray chief of police, said the first batch composed of 20 surrenderers will undergo reformatory interventions for one month
Malolos City Mayor Christian Natividad said of the more than 2,000 drug users and pushers who surrendered to him, 51 qualified to join the first batch that will undergo rehabilitation.
The city also initiated a sports festival — “Tokhang Unity Games” — as well as scholarship program and livelihood program for surenderers.
“We will help them through mental, physical, spiritual renewal and then give them means of livelihood after their rehabilitation,” Natividad said.
In Guiguinto, Mayor Ambrosio Cruz Jr. said 25 confessed users and pushers are undergoing rehabilitation at their Bahay Pagbabago using the mansion formerly owned by arrested “drug queen” and former bold star Evita Evora in Rosaryville, Barangay Santa Cruz.
Evora was arrested by intelligence operatives of Bulacan police, then headed by police Director Richard Albano in 1990.
“It’s ironic that our Bahay Pagbabago was a former mansion owned by big- time drug dealer that now serves as a house of transformation for victims,” Cruz said.
In Bocaue, Bahay Pagbabago was the former municipal building that will be used by 600 drug surenderers. It was renovated by the municipal government under Mayor Joni Villanueva.