The use of drug rehabilitation facilities should be maximized to give addicts a better chance to be treated, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go told the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) during the Senate Committee on Finance hearing on the budget of the two agencies on Monday.
Go lamented that the 54 drug rehab centers across the country are not fully utilized as their occupancy is way below expectations.
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino told the committee that many drug dependents don’t enroll in such facility because it is far from their families. Instead of going to rehab centers in Nueva Ecija, Las Piñas City and Bukidnon, Aquino said the best rehabilitation method is a community-based treatment.
Go urged PDEA and DDB to encourage drug dependents to register and rehabilitate themselves in government facilities as community-based treatment facilities are lacking in effective programs.
“Usually, kung gustong magpa-rehabilitate nung adik, talagang dinadayo nila tulad nung may kapasidad na magbayad ng mga private care. Dinadala talaga nila sa mga isolated areas, tulad ng Bukidnon, Nueva Ecija. Kung sino talaga gustong magpa-rehab, pwede naman kung gusto talaga,” Go said.
“‘Yung mga gustong magbagong buhay, tulungan natin na ma-maximize ang mga rehab (centers). Sila rin ay biktima. Kawawa naman. Marami pa naman gustong magbagong buhay. Tulungan natin sila,” he added.
“‘Yung sinasabing community-based rehabilitation, kulang ‘yung mga ginagawang rehabilitation kung community-based. Babalik pa rin ‘yung mga adik,” the senator said.
However, Go said the government also needs to improve community-based rehab programs nationwide.
Go assured the representatives of PDEA and DDB of his unwavering support to the country’s drug rehabilitation program and its goal of giving drug dependents another chance at a meaningful life.
He has filed Senate Bill No. 399 that seeks to establish a drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation center in every province. The facilities are to be under the supervision of the Department of Health (DoH).
“Ang mga centers na ito ang tutulong sa mga drug dependents upang magamot ang kanilang adiksyon at matulungan silang mamuhay ng normal muli,” Go said.