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More rehab centers for drug users pushed

Senator Cynthia Villar has filed a bill that seeks to establish accessible and affordable rehabilitation centers in every province and city in the country that will cater to drug dependents in order to sustain government’s efforts for a drug-free society.

In filing Senate Bill No. 718, Villar said the lack of rehabilitation center in the country is now more evident with the number of drug dependents seeking rehabilitation increasing day by day.

Under the bill, the Department of Health (DoH) Secretary will establish a socialized scheme for the payment of rehabilitation and treatment expenses of drug dependents where indigent drug dependents will not be required to pay.

It also seeks to make rehabilitation expenses chargeable to Philhealth.

“The government must be ready to extend help to these drug dependents who should be treated as victims rather than criminals. Ensuring their recovery through rehabilitation and reintegration into the community will be beneficial to society as they will become productive citizens,” Villar said.

Since the implementation of the anti-illegal drugs drive “Oplan Tokhang,” with the assumption into office of President Rodrigo Duterte, over 100,000 drug suspects have surrendered to authorities.

Villar said more rehabilitation centers where a drug dependent will be motivated to regain self-confidence, rediscover his working abilities and develop a sense of responsibility for himself, are needed.