Talks on holding facility for
mentally challenge, stalled
TAGBILARAN CITY, April 8 (PIA)--Building a mental institution may be easy, but operating one could be a challenge.
This observation came up as plans to set up a similar facility in Tagbilaran as a venue to safe keep mentally challenged individuals roaming city streets grow.
The City Government mulls of setting up facility for the mentally deranged, but finds out that operating one could be more confusing, even if it is just a temporary holding center for the mentally challenged.
By temporary center, it means a place where people could be taken care of, at least until a relative claims them and brings them home.
This too as calls from citizens already alarmed by the number of mentally challenged people roaming the city streets, resound during the recent City Peace and Order Council meeting held at the Jjs Seafoods Village March 30.
"We wish to make Tagbilaran a tourism showcase, but what can we do with the unclothed and clearly mentally deranged men roaming our streets?" asks a CPOC member who wished something could be done.
Earlier proposals to convert the abandoned City of Tagbilaran Rehabilitation Center (CTRC) into a temporary holding center for the mentally challenged popped when the issue of safekeeping these helpless people came.
But City Engineer Pianicita Castolo, who was asked about the progress of the plan said her office was just awaiting for the formal proposal so they could incorporate the plan into their budget.
She also said the plan should be submitted to them so they could work out the details of the rehabilitation of the already abandoned facility.
But as to who prepares the plan, the talks stalled.
Many believed that since the Department of Social welfare and Development (DSWD) owns the building, they should be the ones who would initiate.
But, sources at the CSWDO said they have no capability to runs such because it would also entail a qualified clinical psychologist at least, an item that is not with CSWDO.
"We do not have the program here [to handle cases like that]," CSWDO revealed, adding that the only government facility which runs things like that is in Cebu.
"If it is a health issue, meaning the mentally deranged, it is with the City Health Office," a key personnel at the CSWDO also said.
On his part, City Health Officer Dr. Apollo Bernaldez said they were thinking it was CSWD, but hinted they may make the necessary requests.
City Administrator Leonides Borja, who presided over the meeting for Mayor John Geesnel Yap clarified that the city does not intend to operate a full time facility, like a hospital.
He stressed that the temporary holding facility would only cater to persons prior to the time relatives can claim them and bring them home.
As to the stalled talks, more and more residents are now openly airing apprehension that with the threatening drug problem, more and more people would need such a facility, not just temporarily. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)