1st drug rehab center opens at Army camp in Agusan del Sur
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The first drug rehabilitation center inside Mindanao's Army camp was inaugurated on Friday, September 23, in the town of Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.
The center occupies two hectares on the 334-hectare camp of the Army’s 401st Infantry Brigade.
Called the Residential Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (RTRC), it can accommodate 60 patients at a time and shall be managed and administered by the provincial government of Agusan del Sur.
The center was inaugurated by chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo.
The establishment of the RTRC is in line with the province’s drug rehabilitation program called Substance Use Recovery and Enlightenment (SURE).
SURE aims to give victims of drug use a second chance at life and keep them away from drug syndicates who are covering their tracks.
Agusan Sur Governor Eddiebong Plaza lauded the Army unit for its significant support for the government's anti-drug campaign.
Plaza said that his province takes pride in having the 401st Brigade as an adopted Army unit and a partner in his provincial development programs.
Colonel Cristobal Zaragoza, the Army’s 401st Brigade commander, said: "We will give our all-out support to this campaign of the President. A drug-free province is necessary for a drug-free country."
As of Friday, 18 patients, all male, had been admitted, Zaragoza told Rappler.
The health personnel at the center will be provided by the Department of Health in coordination with the provincial government.
President Rodrigo Duterte announced his plans in July to have military camps as host to rehabilitation centers. This week, Palace Communications Secretary Martin Andandar said that "at least 4" rehab centers will be built in military camps this year. – Rappler.com