BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan confirmed that the Japan government is looking for a 3-hectare land area in the city where it could build a state-of-the-art drug rehabilitation center for the care and rehabilitation of the increasing number of drug surrenderers wanting to reform and go back to mainstream society.
The local chief executive met with Health Undersecretary Henry Tong-an and officials of the regional health department who informed him about the plan of the Japan government to bankroll the construction of a drug rehabilitation center primarily catering to the needs of the drug surrenderers in the city and the region as a whole.
However, he advised national and regional officials to request the representatives of the Japan government to pay a visit to the city and inspect the city’s available land holdings, particularly in Sto. Tomas Apugan where its 139-hectare property is located, but the development of the area entails a huge amount of money because the necessary road system to access it is initially estimated at P200 million based on latest estimates of the City Engineering Office.
“We suggested to Undersecretary Tong-an that if the city’s available land holdings will not qualify based on the standards of the Japan government, it would be best to recommend to the funding agency that the proposed drug rehabilitation center be located even outside the city where there can be suitable areas so that the center will not be transferred outside the region,”Domogan stressed.
He pointed out the plan of the Japan government to fund the put-up of a drug rehabilitation center in the city is a welcome development because it would greatly help address the concern of the government and private sector on how to attend to the rehabilitation needs of the drug surrenderers wanting to undergo recover and live a normal life.
According to him, the City Social Welfare and Development Office and the private sector of the city have partnered to work out the initial rehabilitation of the growing number of drug surrenderers in the city but there is really a need for a local drug rehabilitation center where the drug surrenderers could be treated.
He claimed it is difficult for the local government and the drug surrenderers to go to the nearest drug rehabilitation facility located in Dagupan city, Pangasinan for treatment because of financial and other issues that deter their full rehabilitation.
He added the city is willing to coordinate with neighboring towns of Benguet that could offer the available land area if the city’s property in Sto. Tomas Apugan will not pass the standards of the Japan government so that there will be a drug rehabilitation center near the city. /By Dexter A. See