THE construction of a P20-million drug rehabilitation facility in Sitio Maitum, Puerto village is seen to help the City Government achieve its goal of a drug-free Cagayan de Oro, a local lawmaker said.
City Council Romeo Calizo, chair of the police, fire, and public safety, said the extension building of the existing treatment and rehabilitation center (TRC) will be the answer to the problem of lack of drug-dependency recovery facility not just in the city but in the region.
The present 100-bed TRC in Puerto, which is being managed by the Department of Health (DOH)-Northern Mindanao, sits on a 10-hectare lot owned by the local government unit, and is serving about 114 patients.
The soon-to-be constructed 100-bed capacity building is an expansion of the TRC through the collaboration of the City Government and the DOH-Northern Mindanao. It is expected to be finished by September.
“It is the vision of Mayor Oscar Moreno to have a drug-free Cagayan de Oro. [This TRC expansion] is the start of winning our war against the drug menace,” Calizo said.
For his part, Moreno said he believes that the drug problem has a solution and that “we cannot lose hope in finding for solution.”
Since the use of illegal drugs, particularly shabu, has infiltrated even the remotest villages, he said President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drug campaign must be supported by the local government units.
Moreno said putting up a rehab facility was one of his campaign promises and he aimed to build one regardless of who sits as the country’s president.
The mayor also cited the health department’s role in managing the TRC which he considered as a vital partner in the endeavor.
“We wanted to take a proactive role, we are helping DOH so it will be encouraged to do more than its share,” he said.
Moreno said he is also hoping the construction of the additional TRC building will also attract more mental health specialists from Manila and other regions.
In addition, the City Government is planning on a three-story facility inside the city jail in Lumbia village to cater to inmates who are the same time drug dependents.
Dr. Adriano Subaan, DOH-Northern Mindanao assistant director, said the health department needs the assistance of the City Government in ensuring that the drug rehabilitation program will succeed.
“DOH can’t solve it alone. We need the help of the LGU,” Subaan told the crowd and the media during the groundbreaking of the TRC extension building in Puerto on Wednesday.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 05, 2017.