Governor Edgar Chatto on Thursday announced that the construction of a mega drug rehabilitation facility in the province which will be funded by the national government and a Chinese investor will proceed as planned.
According to Chatto, the provincial government is now awaiting an official letter from the Department of Health (DOH) to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan requesting Provincial Board members to file a resolution allowing him to sign a memorandum of agreement on the land use for the facility.
Commencement of the project slightly slackened due to a delay in the confirmation of former DOH secretary Pauline Ubial, but Chatto said that progress will likely hasten under the administration of new health Secretary Francisco Duque.
According to Chatto, construction of the mega facility will start after he signs the MOA between the provincial government and the DOH that would allow them to use part of a 24-hectare lot in Cortes which will also be the site for the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Regional Hospital (GCGMRH).
The drug rehabilitation center, which was initially set to be built in Cortes, will be administrated by the DOH, Chatto said.
It will be part of the proposed health and wellness complex in Cortes where the GCGMRH and Bohol Youth Home are set to be constructed.
The facility will be the second largescale drug rehabilitation center in the country next to Mega Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (MDATRC) at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija province which was also funded by a Chinese investor.
Earlier this week, the facility in Nueva Ecija drew flak, particularly from the country’s Dangerous Drugs Board chairman Dionisio Santiago who said that its construction was “impractical” and a “mistake.”
Santiago, during an interview with ANC’s Headstart on Wednesday, said that he is in favor of the establishment of smaller, community-based rehab centers which could have been “more effective.”
“Saan mo panggagalingan yun? Yung iba taga-Batangas. Eh sa rehab, kailangan mo ng family support. Paano ka pupunta dun kung pamasahe lang sa loved ones mo, wala ka?” he said.(AD)