Cebu News

Drug recovery facility opens in Pinamungajan

May B. Miasco - The Freeman
Drug recovery facility opens in Pinamungajan

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu provincial government now has its own 106-bed inpatient treatment and rehabilitation facility in Pinamungajan, Cebu that can cater to severely-affected drug users.

The Globe Telecom, Inc. turned over Wednesday to the provincial government the management of the newly-built drug rehabilitation and treatment facility dubbed "New Life Center."

In his speech during the turnover ceremony June 19 in Pinamungajan town, Patrick Gloria, Globe Telecom's director for External Affairs of Visayas and Mindanao, said the firm's involvement only shows its support to the national agenda in helping drug abuse victims to recover from addiction and eventually become productive citizens in the country.

He hopes that the firm's participation to this initiative will bring societal change by giving Cebuano drug dependents a chance for them to have a better future.

He said Globe Telecom's part is the construction of the facility while the Capitol takes charge of the supervision and the full operations of the rehabilitation center. He said the project costs about P50 million.

In the same event, outgoing governor and vice governor-elect Hilario Davide III said keeping Cebu drug-free is always a shared responsibility as this has always been the goal of the Capitol.

He recalled that in 2015, just when President Rodrigo Duterte announced to wage war against illegal drugs, the authorities and officials are challenged how to hadle the surge of surrendering drug users due to limited facilities.

He was grateful to Globe Telecom, Inc. that it responded to the needs of the government for private support that it started up the project. He also thanked Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino for his help for the post-rehabilitation.

Dino, during the event, pledged to bring the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the center than for the patients to travel far in Cebu City to enrol and study their courses.

Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office (Cpadao) chief Carmen Remedios Durano-Meca, in her speech, said opportunities such as rehabilitation services and training courses must be provided to the surrendering drug users to rejoin them in the mainstream of society.

She said this opportunity would have not been made possible if not for the help from private firms like Globe Telecom, Inc., particularly for funding the project.

CPADAO consultant Manuel Pocholo de los Santos said patients, who either submitted themselves voluntarily or endorsed by the local government units, will undergo a six-month program but depending on their progress.

He said patients to be catered at the center are those in chronic cases that are experiencing paranoia, psychosis, and drug-induced anxieties, among others.

He said each patient will only pay for a "minimal" fee that will yet be deliberated. The project managers plan to benchmark the P15,000 fee per patient that has been imposed at government-run rehabilitation facility in Argao town.

De los Santos said supposedly, at a facility like in Pinamungajan, a patient may be asked to pay P120,000 based on Manila standard.

The facility may be in full operations on the fourth or last quarter of the year. In the earlier months, project managers will be busy on hiring and training the personnel who will man the center.

The turnover ceremony seems to be timely with the observance of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking coming up next week.

Aside from Capitol and Globe Telecom executives, also present were the heads from the Department of the Interior and Local Government and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and Pinamungajan town officials.

The facility, which sits on a 2,600-square-meter property owned by the Pinamungajan municipality, has a total floor area of 930 square meters. It has 106 beds that can accommodate drug dependent patients in Cebu and nearby provinces that need intensive treatment.

It has a separate male and female ward and a psychiatric ward; and has 18 single rooms for extreme cases.

The center also has a doctor's office, a nurse's station, treatment and stabilization room, kitchen, dining room, clinic, and a hotel-like reception area.

It is the first provincial government-run facility in the Visayas that is adjacent to a district hospital - Dr. Jose Ma. V. Borromeo Memorial District Hospital.

To help reduce carbon emissions and optimize power consumption, the building is equipped with solar panel rood tiles that can produce electricity to provide support power for lights, fans, air-conditioning, and all other electrical appliances up to a certain limit during the day.

The facility also makes use of eco-pavers for garden floors and recreation area, as well as, eco-bricks for the perimeter fence. These eco-bricks and pavers are made of construction materials and waste plastic laminates.

It also has open spaces, gardens and a recreation room for indoor activities to help build a strong support community.

Currently, there are two government-run big rehabilitation facilities in Cebu located in Argao town and Mandaue City. — MBG (FREEMAN)

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