BAUKO, Mountain Province – Some P65 million has been made available by the health department under its 2017 budget for the put up of a regional drug rehabilitation center in the Cordillera which will be hosted by this municipality.
Dra. Lakshmi Legaspi, regional director of the Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR), said the previous site of the drug rehabilitation center was already abandoned by the agency because there is a claimant to the land, thus, the area where the structures of the center will be built was transferred to a new site that is free of claimants.
However, she disclosed that the area will still be subjected to tree mapping in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to ascertain the number of trees that will be cut to pave the way for the project.
“We will be awaiting the results of the tree mapping which will be conducted any time before proceeding with the needed activities for the realization of the drug rehabilitation center in the region to cater to the growing needs of drug surrenderers from the different places,” Legaspi stressed.
The DOH-CAR official said there is a need to pursue the project to realize the government’s plan to establish regional drug rehabilitation centers in the different regions of the country to cater to the needs of the increasing number of drug surrenderers as a result of the unrelenting and uncompromising campaign of the present administration against illegal drugs.
According to her, the health department will be providing the equipment for the rehabilitation center once the structures are completed probably by the end of this year to make sure that the facility will be operational by next year so that local governments who want to have their drug surrenderers treated will have the luxury of endorsing their drug suspects to the facility for possible rehabilitation.
She expressed disappointment that the original area where the drug rehabilitation center was supposed to be located was the subject of a controversy, thus, health authorities and local officials were constrained to look for another site considering the importance of the regional facility in catering to the rehabilitation requirements of drug surrenderers in the different parts of the region.
Aside from hosting the proposed regional drug rehabilitation center, Bauko also plays host to the Luis Hora Regional Memorial Hospital situated in Abatan and the Bauko campus of the State-run Mountain province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC) and the historic Mount Data Hotel.
Legaspi said the government is inclined to pursue the project to help provide state-of-the-art drug treatment facilities for individuals wanting to reform from being involved in the use of illegal drugs.