Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri and Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3 rd District) yesterday said they support the call of Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon for PhilHealth to help cover the cost of the rehabilitation of drug dependents.
Senator Vicente "Tito" Sotto III has also filed Senate Bill No. 8 also pushing for PhilHealth assistance in drug rehabilitation.
Zubiri said "I fully support Gov. Marañon in his drive to include drug rehab as part of the coverage of PhilHealth as drug addiction can be considered a serious illness, and should be medically and psychologically treated."
With this large number of users that, as of last count, was 3 million all over the country, it should be considered an epidemic, he said.
Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez said he is also supporting the call of the governor.
"Also I'm proposing as a short term measure to do an outpatient rehab program administered by trained specialists using public classrooms from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.," he said.
This treatment will be a stop-gap measure and will depend on the seriousness of the patient's case, Benitez said, adding that he is tapping former Board Member Patrick Lacson to handle the program.
On Friday, Marañon sought the support of President Rodrigo Duterte in his call for PhilHealth coverage of drug rehabilitation cost.
The governor also told the president that to ensure the success of his campaign against illegal drugs, the Negros Occidental provincial government will allocate an initial fund of P5 million to help indigent former drug dependents seeking help at the Ang Dalangpan rehabilitation center in Victorias City or at the New Beginnings in Bacolod City.
The governor said he is calling a meeting of the 32 town and city mayors of Negros Occidental in an effort to rally support for the president's all-out anti-drug campaign, and to encourage them to further initiate the establishment of drug rehabilitation centers in their areas, if the situation calls for it.
Sotto has filed Senate Bill No. 8 proposing "reasonable and affordable" fees for drug-dependent beneficiaries of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) who submit themselves to treatment and rehabilitation at an accredited health care provider.”
This bill also calls for accreditation of rehabilitation centers so that PhilHealth members could avail of these services.
Sotto said government should provide facilities and medical treatment to ensure their complete recovery and social reintegration.
Rehabilitation costs at times discourage families to seek treatment for drug dependents, Sotto said.*CPG
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