DOH sees problem on rehab of many drug surrenderers PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 July 2016 13:34

By R.G. ANTONET GO

The Department of Health (DOH) sees as challenge to Region 9 the surrender of many drug users  because there is no government-owned drug rehabilitation center in Zamboanga Peninsula.

“The local government and the DOH will be working together…One of the challenge is up to this time we don’t have a public drug rehabilitation facility in region 9,” Dr. Aristides Tan, DOH 9 regional director, said in an interview.

A government owned drug rehabilitation center is important so that drug dependents, especially indigents, can be brought back to society after their rehabilitation which takes some six months.

The city has a sole drug rehabilitation center, Sonshine Drug Rehabilitation Center, which is privately owned and where the patients pay a fee of about P9,000 to P13,000 a month. The city government is also giving Sonshine a subsidy of some P1.7 million per year.

According to Tan,  in case Sonshine will be full of patients,  referral can be made to other government rehabilitation facilities outside Region 9 to treat the drug dependents.

He stressed that what must be done is drug abuse prevention, advocacy, education, and provision of livelihood.

The regional director explained that the emphasis of President Rodrigo Duterte is on how to prevent further drug abuse and how to rehabilitate those who have been using illegal drugs.

Meanwhile, he also revealed a plan for the construction of a government owned drug rehabilitation center inside the Mindanao Central Sanitarium located  Barangay Pasobolong.

“There is already money  amounting to P134 million under the General Appropriation Act of 2016.”

What DOH are waiting is the identification of the specific construction site, how the engineers will fast track the design, and what will happen during the bidding.

“Once everything goes right it can be constructed the soonest possible time,” Tan assured.

Aside from these, hiring of personnel for the new facility will also be looked into by the department. The regional director said that the plan will take time and cannot yet be realized this 2016. --R.G. A A. Go

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 July 2016 19:14