THE chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) will turn over on Monday two checks totaling P6.25 million as part of the P10-million fund requested by the city council of Dagupan for the completion of the Drug Rehabilitation and Treatment Center.
Secretary Antonio Villar Jr., a Pangasinense, said this is part of his commitment to Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez, chair of the city council, after he witnessed her dedication in the campaign against drug abuse during the launching of the Barkada Kontra Droga in May.
The turnover of the checks for P2.5 million and P3.75 million will be held during the opening rites of the Children’s Congress at the Jimmy Fernandez Stadia.
A memorandum of agreement will also be signed among the agencies involved in the center including the Department of Health and the DDB.
Villar batted for the approval of the P10-million fund before the DDB board after the Sangguniang Panlungsod passed a resolution asking the DDB to extend financial help to make the rehabilitation center in Barangay Bonuan Binloc operational.
“This is my way of showing my province mates and to all Filipino people that we are one in fighting drug abuse and we want drug dependents’ lives (to) return to normal,” Villar said.
The resolution noted “that while the government should be more stringent in going after the purveyors of drug trafficking and pushing, it should be more compassionate and humane in dealing with the victims.”
Dr. Roland Mejia, chief of the Region 1 Medical Center that will handle the center’s operations, also wrote Villar a separate letter, attached to the approved resolution of the city council.
Mejia said in order for the center to become operational, it still needs to build dormitory and recreational facilities for the patients.
The Drug Rehabilitation and Treatment Center, the first such facility in Region 1, was built through an initial P15 million allocation from the Countrywide Development Fund of then House Speaker and former Fourth District Rep. Jose de Venecia.