In its aim to put an end to the vicious cycle of drug dependency and rehabilitation that will result to a drug-free Bataan, the Balanga City Justice Zone (BCJZ) launched Bataan Collaborative Action for Rehabilitation, Empowerment, and Support, or Bataan C.A.R.E.S., a holistic approach to drug rehabilitation on June 15 at The Bunker.
“This is actually a coalition where we recognize the importance and effective participation of the community, the barangay, in the treatment and rehabilitation of persons who use drugs,” Hon. Marion Jacquelin Poblete said in her discussion of Bataan CARES.
Bataan CARES aims to harness all government agencies, particularly the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC), and implement an effective drug rehabilitation program that will assist re-offenders from parole to their reintegration into society.
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, Hon. Maria Filomena D. Singh, lauded the BCJZ and the local leaders of Bataan, stating that they made the right choice in establishing the Balanga City Justice Zone. She emphasized that “the success of a justice zone, of every justice zone, is determined by the people on the ground.”
According to BCJZ, at least 40% of the persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) detained at the Bataan District Jail/BJMP for drug-related cases are classified as repeat offenders, making “hustisyang may kalinga” their guiding principle. With drug offenses on the rise and jails becoming congested, the rehabilitation of drug-related offenders will include health and livelihood programs, furthering the province’s goal of building resilient Bataeño families.
“Isa po itong napakabigat na hamon, pero sa pagmamalasakit sa kapwa at pakikiisa ng lahat, ito po ay tutungo sa ating layunin na magkaroon ng matatag na Pamilyang Bataeno,” Governor Joet Garcia said.
The community is the fifth pillar of the justice sector, and by making it a priority, it opens doors for involvement in all other government functions. “We all look forward to the fruits and products of this initiative as we continue to work together to ensure a safe and drug-free society,” emphasized Balanga City Mayor Francis Garcia.
The significant event was attended by no less than the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, Hon. Maria Filomena D. Singh, along with the Assistant Court Administrator, Hon. Lilian Baribal-Co., Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health, Beverly Ho, Secretary of the Dangerous Drugs Board, Hon. Catalino Cuy, Go JUST II Team Leader and Senior Adviser, Christian Eldon, and Congressman Albert S. Garcia.