GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 6 Oct) – The provincial government of South Cotabato is pushing for the conversion of the municipal hospital of Lake Sebu into a regional drug treatment and rehabilitation center.
South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes said the municipal government has offered the use of the hospital and its development into a government-run drug treatment and rehabilitation facility.
She said the Lake Sebu municipal hospital, which is located in Barangay Poblacion, is being run by the municipal government.
The provincial government is supporting the operations of the hospital through an annual subsidy of P5 million, she said.
The facility was previously operated by the provincial government as a district hospital but transferred it to the municipal government last year, with the operationalization of the provincial hospital annex in Surallah town.
“(Lake Sebu) is willing to host our regional rehabilitation for drug addicts, with appropriate support from the national government,” she said in a press conference.
Fuentes, who heads the Regional Peace and Order Council of Region 12, said they already relayed the matter to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) central office.
She said it would be “more advantageous” for the DILG to consider the offer since the facility already has existing buildings and rooms, and the site is properly fenced.
In terms of funding, the governor said the agency will only need to augment the annual subsidy committed by the provincial government.
In 2012, the Regional Development Council (RDC) and Department of Health in Region 12 endorsed the development of a regional drug rehabilitation center in Lake Sebu town but such plan was eventually shelved.
The council, through its regional social development committee, pushed for the establishment of the regional drug rehabilitation facility as part of its efforts to address the region’s illegal drug-related concerns.
Based on the RDC-12’s proposal, Lake Sebu is considered as an ideal site mainly for its “ambience,” being located in the highlands with cooler climate, and it is deemed more appropriate to set up such kind of facility outside the urban areas. (MindaNews)