Need of the Hour

There is no doubt that Drug Rehabilitation Centers are the need of the hour in the wake of mass “surrender” or return of self-confessed drug dependents.

Until over 30,000 nationwide and over 7000 in Negros Oriental who returned and left the drug habit, will undergo drug rehabilitation process or debriefing or re-orientation, there is no guarantee that they will not return to the old expensive and deadly vice, knowing our self-imposed culture of “ningas cogon.” (now you see, now you don’t)

Second is livelihood. Drug trafficking is big and easy money. Unless the drug victims will have clean legitimate income (not as job orders please!) they will go back to the drug business if only to survive.

A well-organized and big organic farm in Dumaguete for starters, set up by professionals , like the Habitat housing scheme, will be a sustainable, viable, and healthy option.

If the Duterte drive vs drugs is that serious enough, then it is imperative that this government now release as soon as possible, the P1-billion from PAGCOR for the setting up of treatment and rehabilitation centers for 1.8million estimated drug dependents in the country.

At present there are only 20 drug rehab centers managed by the DOH and LGUs which can treat only 5000 patients. In Dumaguete we have this lone privately owned drug rehab center in Talay which is an open-door policy center, which welcomes volunteer-dependents who want to undergo treatment. Its best policy is to open its doors to those who want to leave anytime, meaning drug rehabilitation is a voluntary act and not a forced process.

P270Million is needed for recovery initiatives for thousands of self-confessed drug dependents. The requirement is expected to triple next year like P800M.

Unfortunately, the 2016 national budget has only enough for a capacity building for LGUs to implement an outpatient program for drug users with less serious addiction problem.

In this regard Congress must pass a supplemental budget to fund the anti drug campaign not only of the president but of all Filipinos.

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