Pangasinan to build own drug rehab center after Army turns down use of Camp Abat

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — The putting up of a drug rehabilitation center in Pangasinan suffered a little snag when the Philippine Army reportedly turned down a proposal of the Pangasinan provincial government to build a provincial drug rehab center on a part of the Camp Tito Abat military reservation in Manaoag town.

A report quoting Gov. Amado Espino III revealed that the PA instead offered its military reservation in Binmaley town as site of the provincial drug rehabilitation center but which the governor appears reluctant to accept.

The military reservation in Binmaley appeared to be a less developed property of the Philippine Army as compared to Camp Tito Abat.

Provincial Information Officer Butch Velasco said the Governor would rather have its property in Burgos town developed to host a provincial drug rehabilitation center rather than in Binmaley where it will spend a huge amount of money anyway to build several infrastructures to house drug dependents.

The Burgos property was donated by the family of the late Burgos Mayor Demetrio Cabiles during the term of then Governor Rafael Colet and then Vice Governor Gonzalo T. Duque in 1992, who was designated executive director of the Provincial Anti-drug Abuse Council (PADAC), purposely as site of a drug rehabilitation center.

With scant budget, Colet and Duque started building infrastructures in the proposed drug rehab center but these were not completed for lack of funds.

Some of these uncompleted infrastructures are still visible today but need to be replaced as they are already destroyed by the elements.

Different succeeding provincial administrations did not continue the project as they did not foresee the problem on illegal drugs in the province to turn from bad to worse.

Velasco said officials of the provincial government already made an ocular inspection of the Burgos property and confirmed it is an ideal site for a drug rehabilitation center.

He said the heirs of the late Burgos Mayor Cabiles were already contacted and who signified their intention that they will honor the donation made by their patriarch. Leonardo Micua/