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Albay inaugurates P40-M modern drug rehab center

LIGAO CITY --- In an effort to help “rebuild” the lives of drug users, a P40 million state of the art drug rehabilitation and treatment facility that can accommodate more than a hundred patients was inaugurated on Tuesday (October 15) by the provincial government of Albay.

The multimillion-peso facility, which is funded by the provincial government, is one of the priority projects of Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara in support of the anti-drug campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.

Bichara said the new facility, which is located in Barangay Tula-Tula, here, could admit at least 150 patients. The operations of the facility, which sprawls in a hectare parcel of land, will be supervised by Dr. Randie Asuncion. The center has two dormitory-type buildings manned by a staff of 10.

In an interview, the governor said that the center will treat and help rehabilitate the substance dependents through effective and standardized residential and after-care services by employing appropriate treatment modalities.

The center’s inauguration ceremony was graced by Bichara and Director General Aaron Aquino, chief of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Dr. Antonio Ludovice, Albay provincial health officer, said the center is ready to accept drug users and addicts who voluntary submit themselves for treatment including those who were referred by the courts and the local government units in Albay.

Ludovice said patients benefitting from the services of the rehabilitation center will be charged P150 daily for board and lodging.

Bichara’s anti-drug program was lauded by Aquino as it will greatly help the government’s initiative to address drug menace. He said the establishment of drug rehab facility here is a commendable act and that he is hoping that the program will be replicated by other local government units.

Albay province has two modern drug rehab facilities. The first one is in Malinao, Albay of which the construction was funded by the discretionary fund of Rep. Edcel Lagman.

Aquino and Dangerous Drug Board (DDB) Assistant Secretary Walter P. Besas lauded Bichara’s initiative since it will be a big help in the campaign to reform drug users who wish to return to the mainstream of society.

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