THE Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (TRC) of the Department of Health (DOH) in Dagupan City now is serving 180 clients.
TRC Administrative Officer Raymond Basbas urged the City Government to fill the 120 remaining slots; otherwise, these will be made available to drug surrenders from other municipalities and provinces.
He said that if these slots will be filled up, drug surrenderers from Dagupan City or Pangasinan province will be recommended to the mega rehabilitation center in Nueva Ecija.
The Nueva Ecija Mega Drug Rehab Center has the capacity to host 10,000 clients at one time, yet only 2000 drug dependents are there yet.
Basbas spoke to members of the Dagupan City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (Cadac) who visited the facility Monday morning seeking for professional advice on what to do with the Community-based Rehabilitation Program (CBRP) it intends to put up for the city's 1,200 drug surrenderers.
He said the Dagupan-based TRC is the model drug rehabilitation center of the DOH throughout the country.
The Cadac, headed by Mayor Belen Fernandez, wants TRC to help assess all the drug surrenderers to find out who of them are qualified to undergo community-based rehabilitation program.
Under the TRC protocol, those with moderate to severe affectations must undergo rehabilitation in accredited drug rehab centers.
Only those with low drug affectation must undergo the Community-based Rehabilitation Program under the Masa Masid of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Dr. Joseph Fama of the TRC believes that depending on their assessment, those with low drug affectation must go through community rehab lasting from four to six months but only on Saturdays and Sundays as most of the surrenderers have jobs.
However, Rhoderick Dawis, DILG city director, earlier revealed that only 58 days of rehabilitation is being readied for those with low drug affectation.
Mayor Fernandez said the Masa Masid program in drug rehabilitation will be pushed through along with the city's Sagip User Rehabilitation Empowerment (Sure) which already succeeded in graduating 65 drug surrenders, at least 45 of them from Barangay Pantal.
The mayor said there were 66 surrenderers enrolled in Sure but only one failed because he was not able to sustain his commitment not to use illegal drugs anymore.
All the other Sure graduates succeeded in sustaining the livelihood projects given them by the City Government with the help of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Tesda.
Basbas said of the 180 clients of the TRC, many of them were surrendered by their families and the others are ordinary drug surrenderers.
The ordinary drug surrenderers do not pay anything while those surrendered by their families are paying monthly for their rehabilitation at TRC. (PNA)