GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/08 November) – The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) is pushing for the establishment of a drug treatment and rehabilitation center for Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao at the region’s administrative center in Koronadal City.
Eduardo Siason, co-chair of the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (Padac) of South Cotabato, said the DDB proposed to the city government of Koronadal on Monday the construction of the facility in the area through a partnership scheme.
He said Undersecretary Edgar Galvante, DDB executive director, discussed the proposal with city officials led by Mayor Peter Miguel in a meeting in Koronadal.
Galvante and other DDB officials visited Koronadal and other neighboring areas Monday for the launching of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education or DARE program.|
“[DDB] signified to build the drug treatment rehabilitation center in Koronadal City through some counterpart help from the local government,” Siason said.
He said Mayor Miguel initially welcomed the DDB’s proposal and offered to provide the site for the planned facility.
Siason said Padac members and local officials in the area are currently exploring some additional counterpart assistance to the DDB to facilitate the immediate implementation of the project.
He said South Cotabato Gov. Arthur Pingoy Jr. gave his commitment to help provide some assistance in the construction and operationalization of the project.
Citing an earlier discussion with Galvante regarding the project, Siason said the proposed facility will mainly cater to patients from Region 12.
Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Cotabato, Tacurong and Kidapawan.
He said DDB chose Koronadal City as the facility’s proposed site being the regional administrative center and seat of Region 12.
“This will surely be a big boost to our ongoing campaign against the proliferation and use of illegal drugs. Right now, our anti-drug program is actually facing some challenges in terms of the treatment and rehabilitation aspect of drug users due to the lack of enough facilities in the area that could cater to their needs,” Siason said. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)