Civil works for PHP7.2-M drug treatment facility in Albay start in July

Civil works for the construction of a PHP7.2-million drug rehabilitation center in Barangay (village) Tula-tula, Ligao City in Albay will start in July this year, according to Governor Al Francis Bichara.

He said in an interview on Tuesday (June 27), that the project had been bid out soon after the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Council) approved the funds for the project.

“The site development plan is ready and now scheduled for bidding while the construction which will start in July, is expected to be finished by the end of August,” said Bichara.

He added the facility will be operational by the end of the year.

Bichara said the architectural design of the treatment center, which is seated on a one-hectare lot, is that of a two-story structure “of at least 10 big cargo aluminum 40-foot containers.”

Aside from the center, a separate administration and medical building will also be built in the drug rehabilitation center compound.

The construction cost for the rehabilitation center is PHP5 million while another PHP2.2 million will be spent for the administration and medical buildings.

Bichara said the funds were sourced from the Provincial General Fund.

He said provincial architects and engineers have designed the center as a “dormitory type” that could accommodate 150 drug dependents as patients.

“As a standard practice, the rehabilitation center could only accommodate patients with a severe drug problem,” Bichara said.

The site is located at the compound owned by the provincial government which is presently the headquarters of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Provincial Public Safety Company or PPSC.

Bichara said he doesn’t foresee any problem on security at the facility because of the presence of the PNP.

He said there are plans to put up in the adjacent lot a correctional facility for youth offenders to be manned by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Bichara said management of the rehabilitation center will be a joint effort of the Departments of Health, Social Welfare, PNP and provincial government.

During the second quarter council meeting of the Regional Peace and Order Council or RPOC on June 20 the Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol reported that it has validated and assessed 38,234 drug surrenderers.

DOH-Bicol records showed that of the 38,234, there were 4,332 who belong to the low-risk category, 4,301-mild, 2,561-moderate and 557 deemed as “severe.”

It added that among the 557 in the severe category, there were 179 who had been referred for treatment at two existing rehabilitation treatment centers in Bicol, one in Malinao, Albay and another in San Fernando, Camarines Sur. (Mar S. Arguelles/PNA)