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PIA Press Release

Davao Norte drug dependents get free admission to rehab center

TAGUM CITY (26 October) -- Families of drug dependents in Davao del Norte will now have lesser burden in submitting their loved ones for rehabilitation.

Davao del Norte Governor Gelacio P. Gementiza has granted free admission for drug-dependent residents of Davao del Norte to the Luntiang Paraiso Rehabilitation Center located in the Municipality of New Corella.

The only treatment center for drug dependents in Mindanao, the Luntiang Paraiso Rehabilitation Center has been established and is being run by the provincial government of Davao del Norte since 2001.

During the recently held Provincial Drug Abuse Prevention and Rehabilitation Board Meeting, Gementiza, chairperson of the board, noted that only a few of the center patients were residents of the province.

He found out that families of drug dependents in the province were holding back from admitting their patients to the center because of center fees which ranged from P1,000 to P8,000.

Gementiza bared that he had requested the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to pass a policy granting free admission to drug-dependent residents of the province at the center.

"Bisan wala pa ma-aprobahi, sugdan nato (nga) ang tanan ma-admit sa Luntiang Paraiso nga taga Davao del Norte, libre. (Even if the request has not been approved yet, let's start giving free admission to Davao del Norte residents)" he said.

He was sure that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan would approve such a policy which he said would enable Davao del Norte constituents to take advantage of such a rare facility for drug abuse victims.

Previous admission policy of the center says that a patient though a resident of Davao del Norte but whose monthly family income reaches P40,000 should pay P8,000 a month. Those whose monthly family income ranges from P20,000 to P39,999 should pay P5,000 a month.

A patient with a monthly family income of P15,000 to P19,999 would only be paying P2,5000 but the local government unit (LGU) to which he or she belongs should shell out a counterpart of P1,250 while the provincial government has to counterpart P1,250 also. Those with P10,000 to P14,999 monthly income should be paying P1,000 while the LGU and the provincial government has to put a counterpart of P2,000 each.

Those screened as indigent residents of the province are no longer required to pay but the LGU and the provincial government each have to shell out P2,500 so the patient could be admitted at the rehab center.

But Gabriela S. Logronio, center executive director said those fees would no longer be a burden for Davao del Norte drug-dependent residents. "It's free starting November (this year)," she said.

Meanwhile, Logronio pointed on the need for the center to extend special services for children and youth who had been among the ranks of center clients since its operation in 2001.

Logronio bared that five of the 24 current clients are children.

During the provincial drugs board meeting, she pushed for a resolution requesting the Dangerous Drugs Board to grant P1 million funding for welfare services for youth and children including rugby boys.

The welfare services for children and youth is part of the P4.8 million worth of funding assistance requests that the Provincial Drug Abuse Prevention and Rehabilitation Board passed in separate resolutions.

Other requests were regarding subsistence for center patients, aftercare programs, and recreation hall. (PIA XI/JMDA) [top]

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