PDEA backs bill on affordable drug rehab treatment for PhilHealth beneficiaries

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) supports a proposed bill that would extend affordable treatment and rehabilitation services to drug dependents that are entitled to health care benefits of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC).

PDEA Director General Isidro S. Lape?a said that the Agency supports Senate Bill No. 8, or "An Act Providing for Affordable Drug Rehabilitation Treatment for PHIC Beneficiaries, Further Amending Republic Act 7875, as Amended"

"The proposed measure which is filed by Senator Vicente Sotto III on July 30, 2016, aims to make treatment and rehabilitation more affordable to drug dependents. The bill is proposed to amend the PhilHealth law and include supplemental health benefit coverage to its members or their dependents as medically necessary for drug rehabilitation treatment purposes and its appropriate services," Lape?a said.

"The bill would help resolve the common predicament of those who want to bring their children to treatment and rehabilitation centers but do not have enough money to pay for it. If we fail to treat the drug dependents, a good number of them will only resort to street crimes, or engage in drug-pushing in the interest of supporting their addiction," Lape?a added.

The PDEA chief thanked Senator Sotto for sponsoring the bill. "PDEA is looking forward when the bill is finally enacted into law to help address the incidence of drug abuse in the country, particularly in the recent upsurge of voluntary surrender of thousands of self-confessed drug users nationwide," he said.

PDEA is pushing for the construction of treatment and rehabilitation centers in Regions 2, 4B, 12, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and Negros Island Regional Office (NIRO)- areas where not a single treatment center is established.

Source: Philippine Information Agency