MASANTOL - After the intensive campaign which urged drug suspects to surrender themselves to authorities, the local government here has started the reformation of 436 drug surrenderees.

Mayor Danilo Guintu, together with the Philippine National Police and Department of Interior and Local Government, launched this town's "Bahay Pagbabago" which kicked off the formal rehabilitation process of drug dependents who voluntarily turned themselves in to the government.

According to Guintu, the "Bahay Pagbabago" located in Barangay Sto. Niño will serve as the rehabilitation center of drug surrenderees in the town where they will be housed for a month and undergo reformation activities such as zumba classes.

An 18-day livelihood training will also be included in the program to equip surrenderees with skills which they can use to provide for their families' needs.

"Syempre para tuluyan makapagbago yan, kailangan may gagawin sila. Yung matututunan nila dito, magagamit na rin nila para sa pagbabago nila, lalo na yung mga pushers," Guintu said.

He added that the local government is also preparing job placements for the surrenderees with their partner-companies at Clark Freeport Zone.

During the launching, Guintu also advised the drug dependents to refrain from addiction again and maximize the opportunity given to them by the national and local governments.

"Ang illegal na droga, wala naman yang patutunguhan. Ilalagay lang ninyo at ang pamilya niyo sa alanganin. Habang seryoso ang Presidente natin sa programang ito, sulitin natin," he said.

He also asked them to urge other drug dependents they know to participate in the program while time still permits.

Guintu also disclosed that 13 of the 26 barangays in town were already declared drug-cleared while the remaining are being monitored.

"Gusto natin buong munisipyo pero mahirap dahil alam naman natin ang Masantol ay open sa ibang bayan at probinsya pero pagtatrabahuhan natin," he said.

He added that as the drug menace in the town declined, occurrence of other crimes such as theft, also dramatically went down.

"Ito lang ay nagpapatunay na maganda ang programa ng ating Pangulo laban sa droga at kami naman dito sa Masantol ay buo ang suporta," he noted.