Police in Region 12 wants a government-run drug rehab center

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 21 July) – The Police Regional Office (PRO)-12 is pushing for the establishment of a government-run treatment and rehabilitation center for drug users or dependents in the region.

Chief Supt. Cedrick Train, Region 12 police director, said they are currently working with the various national government agencies and local government units (LGUs) in the area to fast track the development of a regional drug treatment and rehabilitation center.

He said the facility will mainly cater to the rising number of drug users that have been surfacing in parts of the region these past weeks.

The official said they are specifically coordinating with the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Health (DOH) for the proposed project.

“We still don’t have an institution for drug rehabilitation here in the region that is run by the DOH or any LGU but we’re addressing that now,” he said.

Train said the provincial government of Sultan Kudarat has initially offered to host the facility through its old capitol compound in Barangay Kalawag II in Isulan town.

He said Sultan Kudarat Gov. Pax Mangudadatu signified to donate at least five hectares of the old provincial capitol compound and several existing buildings for such purpose.

The old capitol compound of Sultan Kudarat is an ideal site for the facility as it is located beside the provincial office of the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) and the Department of Education’s Alternative Learning System, he said.

PRO-12 is set to sign a memorandum of agreement with TESDA-12 for the rollout of skills training programs for the surfacing drug personalities in Region 12.

The initiative is a component of the newly-launched Project DUTERTE, which stands for Drug Use and Trafficking Elimination through Rehabilitation, Training and Enforcement.

It was formally launched two weeks ago in support of the anti-drug campaign of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

The PRO-12 said a total of 8,636 drug personalities, mostly users, have already surfaced and surrendered voluntarily to authorities in the entire region.

Train said their units are currently conducting a profiling of the surfacing drug personalities to properly determine the interventions that they need.

In the absence of a government-run drug treatment and rehabilitation center in the region, he said they will initially refer the drug users to alternative interventions.

“Some LGUs have offered their moral recovery programs and religious groups have also signified to help through counselling services,” Train said.

Project DUTERTE “aims to bring to the fold of law those who are involved in the use and proliferation of illegal drugs.”

It will facilitate their rehabilitation through various programs in coordination with TESDA, local government units and other concerned stakeholders.

The program includes skills enhancement, treatment and rehabilitation, and personality development trainings to help the beneficiaries secure jobs to support their families and divert them from illegal drug-related activities.

“Our goal is to make them productive citizens so they will not be discriminated when they later return to their communities,” Train added.