Espino orders start of construction ASAP


LINGAYEN — Gov. Amado Espino III announced the start of the construction of the drug rehabilitation center in Burgos town for lightly and moderately affected drug users who surrendered.

The announcement was made a week after the donation of a two-hectare lot was formalized through a deed of donation signed by Belen Cabiles, widow of the late Burgos town Mayor Demetrio Cabiles, and their only son Aldrin.

It was an affirmation of the donation made by the Cabiles patriarch in the 1990s to the provincial government during the administration of then Gov. Rafael Colette.

The governor expressed confidence that the drug rehabilitation center will be completed before the rainy season sets in this year.

The provincial government initially set aside P8 million for the project but the governor said he will also seek the help from the national government, particularly the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and the Department of Health (DOH).

Gov. Espino said the Provincial Health Office will be responsible for the operation of the rehab center.

Espino clarified that the rehab center will include both a boot camp program and livelihood workshop to complete the rehabilitation process.

He said the inputs of the Philippine Army and Tesda will be necessary for the full program to succeed.

Also, since the Burgos drug rehab center is designed to accommodate only 200 patients, a technical committee will oversee the selection of priority candidates based on some set criteria.

Meanwhile, Supt. Jackie Candelario, deputy police provincial director for operations, said the drug personalities that surrendered were already turned over by the Philippine National Police (PNP) to local government units for custody and the responsibility to implement a rehab program to help them return to normal life.

“It is because the LGUs can provide jobs which the police cannot,” Candelario said.

The police said there are some 19,000 drug users/pushers in Pangasinan that surrendered.

 (Leonardo Micua)

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