Your Premier Source for Comprehensive Philippines News and Insights! We bring you the latest news, stories, and updates on a wide range of topics, including politics, culture, economy, and more. Stay tuned to know everything you wish about your favorite stars 24/7.


  • Owner: SNOWLAND s.r.o.
  • Registration certificate 06691200
  • 16200, Na okraji 381/41, Veleslavín, 162 00 Praha 6
  • Czech Republic

Food cart program gives hope to reformed drug suspects

MANILA, Philippines — After spending six months in jail for drug offense, and another six months for counseling and rehabilitation, 46-year-old Jessie Morales was left homeless by a fire that hit his neighborhood in Tondo last month, leaving him with nothing but more anguish.

But just when he thought everything was lost, a lifeline emerged – a food cart, courtesy of Judge Maria Sophia Tirol Solidum-Taylor of the Manila City Regional Trial Court Branch 31, and the Manila City Jail, under an “after-care” program called “Kariton ng Bagong Buhay at Pag-asa.”

The food cart will allow Morales to have a source of income and provide for two of his five children still living with him.

“I don’t want to go back to drugs. I want to change my life. There’s nothing for me in doing drugs. First of all, I realized that I was just ruining my life, my family and my job,” he told The STAR in Filipino.

Under the Kariton ng Bagong Buhay at Pag-asa program, indigent drug suspects who entered into a plea deal are given a food cart for their livelihood after their release from jail.

However, to be eligible for a food cart, drug suspects should consistently turn out negative in drug tests, which are conducted as they report under the rehabilitation program.

The negative drug test results, Judge Taylor said, are proof that the former drug suspects are turning away from drugs and are willing to change for the better.

The food carts are built by detainees in the Manila jail and the materials used – wood and galvanized sheet for the roof – are donated.

Former detainees are also given initial capital of food products such as siomai, siopao, fishballs.

“The program is good for people like us who have nowhere to go. We are given something to do, some livelihood,” he said.

“This is a challenge for me because I really want to change. I don’t want to go back to my old lifestyle because being jailed is hard,” he said.

According to Manila City Jail Warden Supt. Lino Soriano, 11 food carts have been built so far including the one given to Morales.

Two other food carts were previously given to two other former PDLs or persons deprived of liberty – one of which is stationed on Villalobos Street near