Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin on Tuesday said she supports the Department of Health (DOH) in asking for funds from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to hire more psychologists and psychiatrists for drug treatment centers all throughout the country.
“After all, illegal use of drugs is a health issue,” the former Health Secretary said.
Garin said additional funds for this purpose “will provide the manpower to carry out the necessary treatment for our people who are being rehabilitated in the Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers (DATRCs).”
“With this, we will enable our health workers to fully discharge their duties and responsibilities in allocating budget for activities and necessities that support health programs and help maintain a safe space for the drug surrenderers and a working environment for our doctors,” she said.
But she added that there must be a “thorough study and consultation with the implementing offices, as to how much the health agency will be needing to fully realize the objective.”
The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) was grateful to the leadership of the House of Representatives for the additional P240 million which will be used for further establishment of rehabilitation centers.
This budgetary increase is included in the House Bill 4228 or the General Appropriations Act of 2020, Garin said.
“However, it must be noted that as of December 2018, there are only 24 accredited government treatment and rehabilitation facilities,” she said.
“Moreover, community-based rehabilitation program is LGU-based, thus, LGUs must be directed to operate their own facilities. According to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), out of 1623 cities and municipalities, only 997 operate their respective treatment and rehabilitation centers,” Garin said.
“There must be assessment on current services and output of the existing rehabilitation centers both operated by the national and local governments,” she said.
“Further, the actions of the DOH must complement that of the DDB’s and LGUs so that we could achieve the purpose and to assure that no government fund is wasted. I suggest that a roadmap will help us achieve this goal,” she added.