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Cebu City to build drug rehab center

COUNCILOR Philiip S. Zafra said the Cebu City Government will soon construct the Phase 1 of the P3 million “Balay Silangan” in Barangay Guba for the rehabilitation of persons who are hooked to illegal drugs.

Zafra said that he was called by both Senator Pia Cayetano and Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano who facilitated the appropriation for the construction of a rehabilitation center in Cebu City. Pia made the facilitation in the Senate, while Alan Peter in the House of Representatives during the discussion of the 2021 national annual budget.

Zafra said the P3 million for the Phase 1 of Balay Silangan is now part of the General Appropriations Act of 2021.

“We are looking forward to construct that rehabilitation center at a city-owned lot in Barangay Guba. After the first phase, we are hopeful that Congress will also appropriate funds for the Phase 2,” Zafra said.

He said that it is the mandate of all Local Government Units (LGUs) in the country to construct and establish a drug rehabilitation center under Republic Act 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Atty. Clarence Paul Oaminal, former vice chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), said that Cebu City, a premier city, failed to construct a rehabilitation center. Balay Silangan is a project of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Oaminal said that because Cebu City has no drug rehabilitation center, there was a proposal to build it in the Osmeña Shrine, instead of putting a cemetery there, but nothing happened.

He said there is a rehabilitation center in Argao, Cebu established by Senate President Vicente Sotto III and the late Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.

Oaminal said that he is happy that the Cayetanos were able to source funds for drug rehabilitation center in Cebu City because drug addicts are also considered victims of circumstances. ELIAS O. BAQUERO