Bohol is fortunate to be one of the five areas in the country where a drug rehabilitation center will be constructed starting this year.
Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco said funding is now being sourced out in China to finance the drug rehabilitation center to be constructed in Carmen town.Â
He told theÂ ChronicleÂ there will be no problem on the lot since an army reserved area can accommodate the drug rehab center. The plan and design were already done, the project cost of which reached to P263 million.
The rehab center will commence construction this year, assured the Cabinet secretary while he commissioned special envoy to China, businessman Ding Borja, a Boholano, to finalize the sourcing of funds from China within the next two months.
Once completed, the center can house 500 drug dependents.
Evasco, a former mayor of Maribojoc town earlier assured that Bohol will benefit in projects under the Duterte administration. He vowed that since Bohol registered one of the most number of drug surrenderees, a drug rehabilitation center is urgently needed.Â As of last count in November last year, no less than 25,000 drug users surrendered to police authorities underÂ “Operation Tokhang.”
During a radio survey conducted by DYRD’s top ratedÂ “Inyong Alagad”Â program, 89 percent of the respondents commented that the government’s anti-drug campaign is a failure if the drug surrenderees are not being attended to as far as their rehabilitation program is concerned.Â
The call was for the establishment of a well managed drug rehabilitation center in the province.
Sec. Evasco told theÂ ChronicleÂ the construction of the drug rehab is the answer to the clamor of the Boholanos.
Meanwhile, he confirmed reports that a huge rehab center in Nueva Ecija is alreadyÂ 80% completed with funds donated by a wealthy Filipino-Chinese businessman he identified as Mr. Rolon.Â
Three other drug rehab centers will be constructedÂ in other parts of the country. These centers will be funded by a donation of P1 billion from Ramon Ang of San Miguel Corp.. One of the three which is a 500-bed capacity rehab center will be constructed in Bataan
Sec. Evasco admitted that drug rehab centers areÂ essential to the anti-drug abuse program in the country.
Meanwhile, Gov. Edgar Chatto welcomed the planned Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (DATRC) as he emphasized the national, regional and local importance of the project.
He confirmed that the 500-bed center will be located inside the Camp Rajah Sikatuna of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Carmen
Relentless in his anti-drug campaign, the governor on Wednesday witnessed the signing here of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the DATRC Task Force organized by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.
Proponent agencies of the project led by Cabinet Sec. Evasco and Department of Health (DOH) Sec. Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial, among others, are all set for the establishment of the facility, Chatto said.
They inked the agreement which coincided with the groundbreaking of the project for the upgrading of the existing Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital in Tagbilaran City.
The signing was also witnessed by Department of Interior and Local government (DILG) Usec. John Castriciones, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regâ€™l. Dir. Evelyn Macapobre, and the representatives from the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Philippine National Police (PNP), AFP and private sector Kausaban Foundation.
The DATRC are for the â€œseverely-affectedâ€ drug dependents.
The moderate users are considered outpatients and to be managed by the Center for Drug Education and Counseling (CEDEC) facilities presently at the Oak Brook building of the Lions Club, near Plaza Rizal , this city,
The slightly-affected can be managed under the appropriate community-based rehabilitation program, which the CEDEC facilities to be established in all local government units (LGUs) can also assist.
Dr. Cesar Tomas Lopez, a former board member chairing the health committee of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP), is the chief of the provincial CEDEC based in the city.
The DATRC in Bohol is in pursuit of Duterteâ€™s marching order to establish four mega- or major drug rehabilitation centers in the country—two in Luzon, one in the Visayas and one in Mindanao.
This was emphasized in a separate meeting with Castriciones also on Wednesday, according to Lopez.
Lopez said the national government was selected Bohol to host one of the four drug rehabilitation facilities because of the strong representation of Evasco, an influential Boholano in the Duterte government.
The province itself has its own plan to establish a rehabilitation center on the island-town of Pres. Garcia.
The governor has in mind to defer the plan once the DATRC, a national program assisted by the private sector, in Carmen is done and operational, former Board Member Yul Lopez said during the â€œKita ug Ang Gobernadorâ€ program on Friday.
The province is fully supporting the DATRC project, stressed Lopez who is also the governorâ€™s health services program consultant.
The support includes the provinceâ€™s serious anti-drug interventions thru the CEDEC and the so-called â€œprotok (prosperity tokhang)â€ teams.Â
During the DATRC signing, Chatto thanked Duterte thru Evasco and Ubial for selecting Bohol as one of the sites of the essential project.Â