Belmonte to launch reformation center for ‘solvent kids’
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - June 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A reformation center for street children addicted to solvents such as model airplane glue will be formally inaugurated in Quezon City this month.

Mayor-elect Joy Belmonte said the Sagip Batang Solvent Reformation Center, which was established in partnership with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), will soon be ready to accept rescued street children who are into illegal substances.

“We signed a memorandum of agreement with PDEA director general Aaron Aquino in March this year to work closely to rescue children from Quezon City who are addicted to sniffing solvent which, among others, can lead to their use of other illegal drugs,” said Belmonte, who chairs the city’s anti-drug abuse and advisory council.

“PDEA has also identified several instances of children being used as runners and couriers in the illegal drug trade. We will also be focusing on these kids because we want to intervene as early as we can to rehabilitate them and help them start again,” she added.

Located in Novaliches, the reformation center will house children aged 10 years and below. They will undergo rehabilitation and re-integration through counselling, values formation, skills training and more.

“This is not just a rehabilitation center. We want this to serve as their home where they can start a new life,” the outgoing vice mayor said in Filipino.

“To make that happen, these children should see what could happen to the future because of illegal drugs. We have to show them that they don’t need solvent or drugs. They can study, learn and have the capacity to have a good life,” she added.

Belmonte said the center has bedrooms, kitchen, comfort rooms, library, multi-purpose hall, music hall, playground, entertainment room and a garden.

She said PDEA will run the facility for a year and then turn it over to the city government. Incoming Vice Mayor Gian Sotto will take over.

“This program is part of our commitment to make Quezon City a safe haven for kids and to intensify our campaign against illegal drugs and criminality,” she added.

JOY BELMONTE
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