THE huge number of drug users and pushers who have turned themselves in to the police has prompted Marikina City to plan the expansion of rehabilitation centers, Mayor Marcelino “Marcy” Teodoro said on Monday.
“I’ve met congressman BF [Bayani Fernando] the past few days and we’ve talked about the expansion of our rehabilitation center in Marikina Heights. We will renovate it and will add more rooms for the growing number of drug dependents,” Teodoro told The Manila Times in an interview.
“It’s a dormitory type and can accommodate at least 200 drug users. Realistically, it is still not enough with the thousands of drug users and pushers who voluntarily surrendered,” the mayor said, adding that Fernando will fund the project.
“He [Fernando] said he will help us on the expansion of [drug rehabilitation]facility [physical]. As you know, a congressman has infrastructure projects. He wants to allocate his budget for the construction of a rehabilitation center. I suggested to him instead of constructing a sports center, it would be better if it will be used for the expansion of our rehabilitation facility,” Teodoro added.
Currently, the city’s drug rehabilitation facility can only accommodate 60 patients, Teodoro said.
From July 1 to September 18, the local police knocked on 1,528 households as it implemented “Oplan Tokhang.”
Teodoro said drug dependents will be given full rehabilitation services to ensure their full treatment and recovery.
“They should undergo rehabilitation to ensure that they will never go back to their old habits. It’s a medical condition because you are using drugs, its addicting. We want to erase it on the system,’ he said.
“Oplan Tokhang is nothing if we don’t have a drug rehabilitation facility,” he added.
With the planned expansion of the rehabilitation center, Teodoro said additional medical personnel are also needed.
“We need additional doctors, nurses, guards, and other personnel. Maybe we can assign some employees of the city hall there,” he said.
NEIL A. ALCOBER