San Carlos City opens reformatory center for drug users
By Yolanda Sotelo
SAN CARLOS CITY – This city has opened a reformatory center for drug users where they are housed for a month and trained on different livelihood projects.
City Vice Mayor Julier Resuello said “reformatory” offers only a one-month program and is different from “rehabilitation program” which takes from six months to one year.
There are around 600 drug pushers and users from the city who have surrendered to the police, and are encouraged to enter either the reformatory center or undergo rehabilitation.
Resuello said the reformatory center, the only one in Pangasinan, was launched in the city to help the victims of drug abuse to help them stop their addiction and enable them to rejoin the society.
“They are just victims of illegal drugs, they are just users and not pushers,” Resuello said.
But it is the police which decide whether the drug users would enter the reformatory center or undergo rehabilitation. The clients are accepted at the center by batches of 30-50 every month.
While inside the center, they can select from the different livelihood trainings conducted by Tesda –welding, haircutting, pedicure and manicure and even mushroom culture.
After a month, they can use the skills to earn money, Resuello said.
The city government used the P500,000 budget for anti-drug abuse program this year, to lease a vacant lot and building in barangay Bonifacio.
“We refurbished the building, equipped it with electrical power and water system, and make it generally comfortable for the clients,” Resuello said.
The clients have sleeping quarters and are provided with three meals daily.
A convenor’s group composed of church leaders, non-government organizations and government organizations help in reforming the drug uses, he said.
The city government likewise help those who need rehabilitation is entering rehab centers.
Resuello said he has asked his brother, Mayor Joseres Resuello, for additional funding next year.
“After the initial expenses, we only need funding for the food,” he said.
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