Diocese, mayors offer 14 has. for rehab site

A 14-hectare farm lot in Silab, Amlan, Negros Oriental is being eyed by the local government unit as possible drug rehabilitation site, the same of which was offered by the Diocese of Dumaguete headed by Bishop Julito Cortes.

This was disclosed by Amlan Mayor Gino dela Cruz during the regular monthly meeting of the League of Mayors in the Philippines (LMP)- Negros Oriental chapter on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016 at Bethel Guest house.

The LMP Negros Oriental chapter welcomes the offer of the diocese in line with the thrust of the Duterte administration to address the growing demand for rehabilitation of drug dependents, 80% of which are users or merely peddlers.

A a recent forum with Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno in Davao City, Mayor dela Cruz said the country needs drug rehab centers that has a capacity of 70,000 people who are drug dependents, the number of which represents only 10 percent of the more than 700,000 drug dependents who have surrendered all over the country.

Dela Cruz said with only four drug rehabilitation centers approved for construction throughout the country, it can only accommodate more than 12,000 which is way below the 10 percent of 700,000 drug dependents.

With the offer of the diocese, the Amlan mayor said it can already go a long way in addressing the disparity of drug rehab centers in relation to those who need them.

The plan is not only supported by the municipality of Amlan but all the local executives all over the country because it will be benecial to the province as well as neighboring provinces.

Mayor dela Cruz said the diocese, including the 7th Day Adventist are scheduled to meet with Department of Health Sec. Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial on Oct. 19, 2016 for specific guidance and directions.

Sec. Ubial is expected to hold a national staff meeting of DOH in Negros Oriental from Oct. 20 to Oct. 21.

Dr. Socrates Villamor, OIC chief of the local health support division of the Department of Health-Negros Island Region said each province was requested to submit proposals for a provincial drug treatment center for drug dependents and Negros Oriental suggested to expand the existing drug rehabilitation center in Talay which is run by a non-government organization. (By Choy Gallarde)

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