DOH OKs regional drug rehab center in Region 12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/19 October)– The Department of Health (DOH) has endorsed for implementation the proposed development of a drug rehabilitation center for Region 12 or the Soccsksargen Region in Lake Sebu town in South Cotabato.

Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio, chair of the Regional Development Council (RDC) of Region 12, said the DOH is now working for the formulation of a project development plan to facilitate the center’s funding.

“The DOH has already accepted the project and is making it as one of their priorities for the region,” she said in a press conference.

The RDC -12, through its regional social development committee, had pushed for the establishment of the regional drug rehabilitation facility as part of its efforts to address the region’s illegal drug-related concerns, Custodio said.

Custodio said the council passed a resolution last June addressed to the DOH and the Dangerous Drugs Board for the implementation and funding of the project.

Based on the RDC-12’s proposal, she said the regional drug rehabilitation center would be established in Lake Sebu town.

Custodio said the initiative, which was endorsed by South Cotabato Gov. Arthur Pingoy Jr., involves the conversion of the municipal hospital of Lake Sebu into a drug rehabilitation facility.

Custodio said that since the Lake Sebu municipal hospital has existing buildings, the cost of developing it into a drug rehabilitation center would be minimal.

Pingoy earlier said they supported the RDC’s proposal to put up the regional drug rehabilitation center in Lake Sebu, “it being an ideal site because of the ambiance.”

“The presence of natural attractions there could help create a special healing environment for its patients,” he said.

Pingoy said the conversion of the Lake Sebu hospital into a regional drug rehabilitation and treatment facility will not be a loss but a positive move for the local government since it would be fully supported by the DOH. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)