THE Cebu City Government plans to subsidize the in-house rehabilitation of drug users who recently surrendered.

This, after a rehabilitation facility in Minglanilla, Cebu offered to provide discounted treatments.

From P25,000 per month, the Farm Group Facilities (FGF) is willing to charge only P6,000 per month for the regular treatment through the Narcotics Anonymous program that lasts between three and six months.

“We will compete with the government rehabilitation facility in Argao since these surrenderees mostly come from families that cannot afford. We are a private rehabilitation center but with the demand now, we need to help as part of our social responsibility. Also, we know that the facility in Argao is already full and more people are surrendering,” said FGF owner Jimmy Clemente.

P2-million budget

He said their Minglanilla facility can accommodate up to 150 individuals, but they also have another facility in the southern town as well as facilities in Cabancalan, Mandaue City and in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City.

Clemente said the Cebu City Office of Substance Abuse Program (Cosap) will determine who can avail themselves of the discount.

In a separate interview, Dr. Alice Utlang, Cosap chief, said they will also determine who among the surrenderees need to undergo in-house or stay-in rehabilitation and who can be outpatient clients.

“We will pay for those who need in-house rehabilitation since outpatients don’t have to pay,” she said in Cebuano.

However, Utlang said that out of the more than 100 drug users from Barangays Mabolo, Buhisan and Sambag II who recently surrendered, 75 percent need to undergo in-house rehabilitation.

Utlang said the City has a P2-million approved budget for the program, but the amount is not enough since they expect more drug users to turn themselves in.

She was already asked by Mayor Tomas Osmeña to submit a budget proposal as soon as possible.

An additional appropriation, she said, may be included in a supplemental budget or in the next annual budget yet.

Utlang said the program will cater initially to drug users who have surrendered to the barangay instead of those to the police.

Open forum

In a related development, the Pardo Police Station yesterday conducted an anti-drug seminar for drug users and pushers as part of their reintegration to society.

Some 241 pushers and users have surrendered since July 1, according to Senior Insp. Randy Caballes, chief of the Pardo Police Station.

“It was the first time for the drug dependents to join the seminar. I hope that they will be able to internalize that drugs are dangerous,” Caballes said in Cebuano.

Caballes said surrenderees need to go through the process of profiling before they are oriented on the ill effects of illegal drugs.

Their main discussion was about the harmful effects of drugs to the body and the people surrounding them, including their family.

Seminar speakers include the barangay captain of Bulacao, Poblacion, Cogon, Inayawan, Basak and Kinasang-an and members of the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (Badac).

An open forum followed the seminar where issues and concerns were raised, such as what the barangay can provide as diversion to them.

Some of the 100 participants asked if local government units could hire them as cleaners or construction workers.

The Police Station 7 will schedule another seminar after the profiling of all pushers and users who surrender.

Caballes said eight of the 10 personalities in the station’s drugs watch list have been either neutralized or arrested.

PO1 Jude Sansona said they also plan to conduct another seminar on livelihood programs. Keith John A. Solon, USJ-R Intern