By Edwin Iyo
Five mayors in the Gingoog Bay Alliance (GBA) in Eastern Misamis Oriental have agreed to contribute funds for the construction and the establishment of the Balay Silangan as their support to the program of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Administration (PDEA) in helping drugs offenders who are willing to turn their lives around.
Gingoog City Mayor Erick Cañosa, GBA secretary, said there is a need to support the program of PDEA as he pledged P1 million for the Balay Silangan.
The Balay Silangan will be built in this city. It will be the first-ever drug rehabilitation center in the province. It will also serve as a temporary shelter of the drug offenders, said Cañosa.
Through the Balay Silangan drug offenders can avail livelihood and skills training during their three-month stay inside the rehabilitation facility, it was learned.
The facility is designed to give the opportunity to all drug offenders who are qualified to learn skills like soap-making, massage training, basic carpentry, welding, and hair cutting.
This is to give reformed drug offenders clear options and employment opportunities when they finally complete their reformation period, Cañosa explained.
Gingoog City Vice Mayor Peter Unabia is very optimistic, as he believed the construction of the Balay Silangan will be started “very soon.”
Cañosa said there is need for a Balay Silangan to give chance for the drug offenders who want to reform.
Talisayan town mayor Rommel Maslog, GBA chairman, added a pledge of P200 Thousand, Magsaysay Mayor Rey Buhisan, GBA Vice Chairman, pledged P200,000; Medina Mayor Donato Chan, GBA treasurer, pledged P300 thousand, and Balingoan Mayor Aaron Paul Unabia, GBA auditor, pledged P200,000.
Senator Rolando De La Rosa also pledged financial support, as his counterpart for the construction of the Balay Silangan in Gingoog City, said Genevieve Cruz, head of GBA secretariat.
Misamis Oriental Rep. Christian Unabia also pledged to support the project, it was learned.