BACOLOD City – Local officials here said they are set to open the P35-million drug treatment and rehabilitation center (DTRC) next year as around 75 percent of the facility has already been constructed.
Project engineer Loben Rafael Castillo said the constructed portion includes the male and female dormitories that can accommodate around 50 patients.
“These (dorms) can be completed probably in one month. There are still other structures that will be constructed,” he added.
The DTRC is situated on a government-owned property in Barangay Alijis with an administration building and mess building. A multipurpose hall and pavilion will also be added.
Samuel Montoyo, focal person of the city’s anti-drug abuse campaign, said the date of the opening is not yet definite, but it could be scheduled next year once the construction is completed.
“Within 2020, I believe it will already be operational,” he added.
City officials announced this during the turnover of a P5-million augmentation fund from the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) by chief cashier Melanie Castillo to Mayor Evelio Leonardia during their meeting at the government center on Monday.
“This is a big occasion for us that we are able to receive a P5-million check. This is a second installment. We are very thankful. It is an inspiration in the anti-drug campaign that Bacolod is just one of the first, if not the few, which has received this assistance. We thank DDB chairman Catalino Cuy for giving priority to Bacolod,” Leonardia said.
According to Melanie, the DDB uses its special fund, sourced from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and the Philippine Racing Commission for the construction of drug rehabilitation centers all over the country.
In Western Visayas, Bacolod is the only local government unit so far that has received assistance from the DDB in establishing such kind of treatment facility, she added.
The groundbreaking on August last year was attended by Cuy, who signed a memorandum of agreement with Leonardia for the release of the initial P10-million financial assistance. The remaining fund requirement was shouldered by the city government.
The city is also working with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in putting up the soon-to-be opened Balay Silangan drug reformation center.
The facility, located alongside the Bacolod City Police Office compound in Barangay Singcang-Airport, is worth P5 million.(With a report from PNA/PN)