Rehabilitation of surrenderers in rehab centers takes priority

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita October 23,2016 - 10:22 PM

  Drug surrenderers participate in an “outpatient” rehabilitation program. But many of them need to be admitted to rehab centers (CDN FILE PHOTO).

Drug surrenderers participate in an “outpatient” rehabilitation program. But many of them need to be admitted to rehab centers (CDN FILE PHOTO).

The bulk of the P50- million budget proposal for Cebu City’s campaign against illegal drugs will go to the rehabilitation of the drug surrenderers in the different barangays of the city, who can now be sent to drug rehabilitation centers.

Dr. Alice Utlang, head of the Cebu City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (Cosap) said if the budget is approved, this would be the first time that the city would have money to send drug dependents to rehabilitation centers.

It costs between P8,000 to as much as P15,000 per month for one person to be admitted into a drug rehabilitation center, even those that are government owned, and drug rehabilitation takes between three to six months to complete, Utlang said.

This means that for the P50-million proposal, there will only be over a thousand drug surrenderers who can be referred to rehabilitation centers.

“If the entire amount is approved, we will divide this per barangay. We will prioritize those barangays that have a lot of surrenderers. We will also have to make specific guidelines for that,” she said.

This year, the Cosap only had a budget of P2 million for drug rehabilitation. It did not include admission into rehabilitation centers but only “outpatient” drug rehabilitation.

Aside from the P50-million budget for antidrug campaign, the executive department of Cebu City is also asking, under its proposed P7.2-billion annual budget proposal, another P1.7 million for drug-testing supplies and P350,000 for other materials for other activities.

DILG Circular

According to Cathy Yso, executive secretary of Mayor Tomas Osmeña, the allocation of a “substantial amount” for the antidrug campaign among local government units is mandated by a memorandum circular by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The DILG also based its memorandum circular on the National Anti-Drug Plan of Action (Nadpa) for CY 2015–2020 by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) which asks LGUs to “appropriate a substantial portion of their respective annual budgets to assist in or enhance the anti-drug (sic) campaign in their respective localities, giving priority to preventive education, and treatment and rehabilitation of drug dependents.”

The Nadpa also asks LGUs to establish, reactivate or strengthen antidrug abuse councils at various local government levels; participate or assist in providing alternative development or livelihood for constituents who are drug dependents; and to assist law enforcement in the supply reduction of illegal drugs.

Sought for comment, Councilor Dave Tumulak, who heads the council’s Committee on Public Order and Safety, said he is supportive of the executive department’s fight against illegal drugs.

But he said he will wait for the executive department to explain in details their budget proposal.
The city council is set to start its marathon hearings for the proposed 2017 budget this week. They will start with the Local Finance Committee on Tuesday afternoon.

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TAGS: Cebu City, Cebu City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention, COSAP, Dangerous Drugs Board, Dave Tumulak, DDB, Department of Interior and Local Government, DILG, drug abuse, drug addict, drug user, rehab, rehabilitation, safety, substance, Substance Abuse

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