New PDEA-7 chief wants to build more rehab centers

By Morexette Marie B. Erram and USJ-R Intern Zena Magto. |August 08,2018 - 10:40 PM

Wardley Getalla

ASIDE from vowing to intensify anti-illegal drug operations in the region, the new director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7) is also eyeing to establish reformatory facilities for drug users.

Lawyer Wardley Getalla, new PDEA-7 director, made this announcement after paying Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña a courtesy visit yesterday.
Getalla was the former director of PDEA–Western Visayas but was reassigned to Central Visayas last August 1 after the agency’s national office ordered the swapping of their officers in both regions.

“We promise to intensify drug clearing operations in the region, and barangay drug clearing operations,” said Getalla.

“And we will also launch the Balay Silangan intended for drug pushers. Because we also have to do interventions, hindi lang anti-drug operations,” he added.

Getalla said he wants to create the Balay Silangan in every city or municipality in Central Visayas.

People with pending drug cases, or those arrested will be admitted into this program as refuge.

However, Getalla said that the program has no timeline yet.

“We also still have to identify which areas will be used for pilot testing. That’s why we have to meet local chief executives,” Getalla explained.

Meeting with Osmeña

Meanwhile, Osmeña revealed that he and Getalla also discussed the possibility of forming a K-9 unit to assist PDEA-7 in their drug enforcement activities.

Osmeña also reiterated the city’s support to the agency, and provide financial assistance to the agents.

He added that the city government is likewise willing to help PDEA-7 on its plans to add more drug rehabilitation facilities in Cebu.

“He said that they’re doing very exciting things, very good value in Region 3, so I referred him to Garry Lao (director of Cebu City Office on Substance Abuse Prevention) because he is in charge of these activities,” said Osmeña.

“He also said that the major problem on rehab is that we have to give them (patients) livelihood,” he added.

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