PDEA backs ‘Bahay Pag-asa’ for CICLs

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has urged local government units (LGUs) to put up a Bahay Pag-Asa or a rehabilitation center to cater to children in conflict with the law (CICL).

PDEA deputy director Derrick Arnold Carreon said during the Rehabinasyon: The First National Anti-Drug Summit in Davao City, February 3 and 4, their call is in line with their program dubbed as ‘Oplan Sagip Batang Lansangan’ which aims to rescue young people who are abusing prohibited solvent.

Carreon said the PDEA led by its director general Aaron Aquino initiated this program as he wants to cleanse the streets from young people sniffing solvent who are the usual suspects of petty crimes.

He said their agency wants kids to be reformed by rehabilitating them inside a facility where they will be looked after by trained staff and professionals.

Carreon said the establishment of Bahay Pag-asa in every LGU is crucial for the reformation and reintegration of neglected children.

The PDEA official said the agency wants to end the impression that there is no solution to the recurring problem of the crime involving this CICL who are into solvent abuse.

“Sa tagal na nating nakikita na sa daming ng mga kabataan na nagkalat sa lansangan, ang impression ng taumbayan na walang malinaw na solusyon (For how many years that we saw this children loitering in the streets, the impression of the people is we don’t have a specific solution for this),” he said citing that after CICLs are rescued by law enforcers, LGU social workers then release them to the parents and these children go back to their usual wicked ways.

“It’s a vicious cycle and this should be stopped,” he said.

Carreon said the program will be launched within this month and the pilot area will be the cities of Metro Manila. He said if this will succeed, it would be implemented all over the country.

Carreon said PDEA will be partnering with private companies through their corporate social responsibility.

He said livelihood and skills training will be provided to them so that after rehabilitation, CICLs can start a new life.