THE 20-million worth rehabilitation center for drug addicts will soon rise in sitio Maitum, Puerto village, Cagayan de Oro City as part of the expansion of the existing government-run treatment and rehabilitation center (TRC).
With a target completion in September this year, the new facility is donated by the City Government to the Department of Health (DOH)-Northern Mindanao in a bid to expand the only government-run treatment and rehabilitation center (TRC) for drug-dependent patients in the region.
Dr. Benson Go, chief of the lone government-owned Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (TRC) here, said it has been the dream of the TRC to expand, and for several years, they have suffered from lack of infrastructure and overcrowded rooms because of rising patients.
READ: Rising admissions seen in gov’t-run drug rehab
The existing rehab facility, built for 100 clients, is currently housing over 114 patients.
"When I was in Vienna, Austria, in their United Nation headquarters, I saw a quote saying that let the world realize that drug addiction is curable, and that drug addiction has its solutions," Dr. Go, said.
For his part, the mayor said: "This statement is a very strong message to the whole world, given the drug menace, no country is spared on the drug problem, and countries have adopted varying approaches, there are other leaders who believe there is no cure to drug addiction, this is why they resort to killing. But we cannot lose hope, we should always look for that solutions, elusive it maybe."
It can be recalled that the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) has been hailed for a “less-bloody drug war.”
A police report showed that a total of 56 persons were arrested from March 1 to 15 following the re-launching of the Project Double Barrel Reloaded by the Philippine National Police (PNP) on orders of President Rodrigo Duterte.
There were no fatalities recorded during the month of March, though a certain Khalid Barani was killed on April 11 inside the G-Galyx Hotel in Cogon Market area when he allegedly fought back in a drug bust.
Cocpo spokesperson Mardy Hortillosa said the city's police force has been ordered to avoid bloodshed as much as possible when conducting anti-drug operations.
Since the war on drugs started last year, Go said they have observed an increase of patient admission, from only an average of 60 to 70 patients in 2015, to 150 to 190 patients last year, when President Rodrigo Duterte was elected.
Go said they aim to make the rehab center a world-class facility, with complete programs for the patients.
"Our staff here now can really compete, they have undergone training, so we have enough capability in terms of knowledge, so what we lack is the infrastructure and facility," he said.
Established in 1998, TRC located at the boundary of Barangay Maitum in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon and Upper Puerto, Cagayan de Oro, was initially under the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)-Northern Mindanao, back when the substance abuse was labeled as a criminal problem.
But in 2005, the facility was officially transferred to the DOH in Northern Mindanao following the crafted Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act which instructed all NBI and police-owned rehab centers to be transferred under the administration of DOH.
The rehab cater patients from Zamboanga region, Surigao, Davao, Butuan, and Lanao areas.
Known to be the only government-owned rehab center in the region, the facility is also the cheapest, costing only P3,000 per month compared to private-owned rehab which costs about P25,000-35,000 a month.