MAGALANG, Pampanga—A rehabilitation center rising on a 2-hectare lot inside the country’s biggest military reservation in Nueva Ecija province will be ready to treat patients in November, the Department of Health (DOH) said here on Thursday.
The first building of the Drug Abuse Rehabilitation Center (DARC) inside the 30,000-ha Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City is scheduled to be completed by the end of October, said Dr. Leonita Gorgolon, DOH director in Central Luzon.
The facility will host five DARC buildings although the Army will “not interfere with the DOH operations there,” Gorgolon said.
She made the announcement at the Central Luzon Drug Rehabilitation Center where the Pampanga government led the blessing of two buildings that would serve as rehabilitation centers for drug users with mild to moderate levels of addiction.
The two structures were built years ago by the provincial government and the city government of San Fernando.
Gorgolon said the Fort Magsaysay center can accommodate 2,200 patients in the five buildings that are being financed through donations of the Chinese-Filipino community. She said the DOH has contributed P10 million for operations.
Similar centers are being built in Capiz province in the Visayas and Sarangani province in Mindanao, she said.
The DOH rehabilitation program to be used at these centers would require 12 cycles of treatment, Gorgolon said, adding that community-based reformation and after-care programs are equally important elements of the treatment.
She said family support would be crucial at every step of the rehabilitation process.
Gov. Lilia Pineda expressed concern at the discovery of two “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride) laboratories in Pampanga this month.
“I have been stepping up our efforts against illegal drugs. The provincial government has been spending large amounts to improve the knowledge and skills of barangay officials and volunteers. Our logistical support to the police is more than adequate,” she said.
“But despite these, drug syndicates are still able to operate in our province because of our open network of roads and airports,” the governor said.
“Let us all resign if we can’t stop this problem,” she added.
Pineda proposed the creation of a task force to lead the antidrugs campaign in light of a theory offered by Director General Ronald de la Rosa, Philippine National Police chief, that the province may have been serving as a transit point or a supply center of shabu owing to its strategic location in Central Luzon. [source]