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In a Memorandum of Agreement signed yesterday, the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) agreed to partner for the “Kanlungan sa Piitan” project.

Secretary Catalino S. Cuy, DDB Chairman, turned over a check amounting to 15 million pesos (P 15,000,000.00) to BJMP Chief Alan Iral for the construction of a drug rehabilitation facility in Malaybalay City Jail, Malaybalay, Bukidnon. It is one of the three existing jail facilities identified under the initial phase of the project. The center is projected to be able to house 120 persons.

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Other jails where rehabilitation facilities will be constructed include Quezon District Jail in CALABARZON and Negros Occidental District Jail in Region VI.

“We should not deny those who are in jail, whether they have been proven guilty of drug-related offenses or are still undergoing trial, of appropriate drug treatment and rehabilitation interventions,” Secretary Catalino Cuy said.

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“Treatment can be provided while they are serving their prison terms so that when given a  chance to go back to the mainstream of society, they will be truly reformed individuals,” he added.

Kanlungan sa Piitan’s proposed treatment and rehabilitation program was initiated by the BJMP to reinforce President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s campaign against illegal drug abuse and trafficking and as a manifestation of its support to the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy (PADS).

The project, which proposed the construction of three jail buildings intended to be used as reformatory centers for Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL) with drug-related cases who availed plea-bargaining, is set to begin construction by next year.

“We would like to thank the DDB for the support they have extended to us in relation to our welfare and development programs particularly for PDL with drug-related cases,” said BJMP Chief Jail Director Iral.

He added that “the new facility will not only decongest our jail in Malaybalay but it will provide a more responsive program that is appropriate for those who availed the plea bargaining.”

In the recent data from BJMP Directorate for Operations, 96,347 PDL or 71.64% of total jail population in 467 jails across the country are facing drug-related charges.

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The MOA signing and turn-over ceremony at the DDB headquarters was witnessed by officials from both the DDB and BJMP.

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