GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 10 Oct) – The Department of Health (DOH) has enlisted at least 20 drug offenders from parts of Region 12 for the first batch of beneficiaries of the newly-opened Soccsksargen Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center based in Sarangani province.
Dr. Sharir Dulduco, DOH provincial officer for Sarangani and this city, said the patients are currently undergoing free intensive outpatient rehabilitative services, which will run for six months.
He said the patients are mostly from Sarangani while the others are from South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and this city.
Dulduco, the acting chief of the center, said they started to accept patients after completing the programs and systems for the operations of the facility, which is situated in Barangay Kawas, Alabel town in Sarangani.
“Our clients are drug offenders who availed of plea bargaining and ordered by the courts to undergo rehabilitation,” he said.
Dulduco said they have partnered with the local government units (LGUs) in the area for the rehabilitation of drug offenders and dependents.
Based on their agreement, he said the regional drug treatment and rehabilitation center will only accept drug offenders with issued court orders.
He said the LGUs handle the rehabilitation of drug dependents who surrendered in the barangays and not facing charges through the community-based rehabilitation programs (CBRP) run by the provincial, city and municipal governments.
In Sarangani, Dulduco said the seven municipal governments have already institutionalized the implementation of the CBRP.
He said some of the drug offenders in the area are also getting treatment in the Balay Silangan reformatory centers.
The municipality of Malungon in Sarangani and the provincial government of South Cotabato have their own Balay Silangan centers.
To facilitate the full operations of the regional rehabilitation facility, Dulduco said the DOH central office is currently processing the hiring of at least 50 permanent health personnel.
“This move will later allow the center to accept patients who need to undergo intensive inpatient rehabilitation services and related interventions,” he said.
Dulduco said they will also cater to residents who are suffering from alcohol addiction and needs rehabilitation.
He said Sarangani Gov. Steve Chiongbian Solon will be bringing in experts to provide treatment programs for alcoholics and they have prepared facilities for such services.
The regional drug rehabilitation facility was completed in December last year through a P350-million grant from the Chinese government.
The two-story center is equipped with complete amenities and had been designed as a courtyard. The center has a floor area of 6,707 square meters and a total capacity of 150 beds.
Its facilities include the treatment and recovery units, admission/administration building and clinic, sports area, training center, visitor’s pavilion, transition villas, male and female dormitory, staff house, motorpool, and multi-purpose covered court. (MindaNews)