By Joseph Almer Pedrajas
The local government of Valenzuela City inaugurated Friday its first drug rehabilitation center in a bid to help the current administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.
The five-storey Balai Banyuhay (House of New Life), from “bahay ng bagong anyo ng buhay” (house of a new mode of life) in Barangay Punturin is part of the city’s comprehensive, responsive, and holistic rehabilitation program to provide moral support and health services to drug dependents.
The rehabilitation center features an out-patient recovery clinic, clinical lab section, nurses’ station, medical section, health program office, psychology section, social worker section, classrooms, workshop, visitor lounge, and a full-sized basketball court to ensure that the comprehensive rehabilitation services are rendered to its clients.
Present at the event were Mayor Rex Gatchalian, Rep. Wes Gatchalian, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director Aaron Aquino, Northern Police District Director Brig. Gen. Ronaldo Ylagan, and other city officials.
In his speech, Aquino said: “Ito ang kauna-unahang nakita kong napakagandang pasilidad (This is the best drug rehab facility that I’ve ever seen).”
“Kasi ‘pag ikaw ay drug offender, at ikaw ay ire-rehabilitate, ang gusto mo kasi pag pasok mo sa facility, ang unang sasabihin mo, ‘Gusto kong magparehab dito.’ [Ito] parang hindi treatment facility, it’s just like a resort, a hotel,” he added.
(When you are a drug offender and you are to undergo rehabilitation, the first thing you want when entering a drug facility is to be able to say ‘I want to go through rehab here.’ This is not like a treatment facility. It’s like a resort or hotel.)