Drug rehab trip of PB members defended
Cebu Provincial Board (PB) Member Grecilda Sanchez said that costs of the PB’s proposed New York trip for a study tour next month pale in comparison to the benefits it would give to the drug rehabilitation system in the province.
Sanchez estimated it would cost P200,000 for each PB member to go, charged to his or her offical travel budget.
She said the Nov. 10 -16 workshop organized by Daytop International Inc., will equip PB members with the necessary skills on how to manage an effective drug rehabilitation facility in Cebu.
“In our computations, it’s P200,000 per board member. That’s not really expensive for us to do our job. All I’m asking is that people let us do our job and then the deliverables will follow,” she said in an interview.
“If mugasto naman lang gyud ta ug (If we have to spend) several millions of pesos, we might as well do it right,” she added.
So far, less than six PB members have expressed interest to join, she said. She would not name them.
Sanchez authored the resolution inviting the PB members to attend the study tour but she won’t be joining it due to a conflict in schedule with her duties as head of the PB’s budget and appropriations committee.
It was then referred to the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drugs Commission (CPADAC) chaired by PB Member Carmen Durano-Meca.
Gov. Hilario Davide III issued a memo authorizing the travel last October 3 and charging the expenses to the travel budgets of the PB members. He later clarified that the study tour abroad still needs the approval of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Among those invited were PB members Peter John Calderon, Jude Thaddeus Sybico, Julian Daan, Raul Alcoseba, Grecilda Sanchez and Joven Mondigo.
Also invited were Sun Shimura, Miguel Antonio Magpale, Arleigh Sitoy and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) ex-officio member Aladin Caminero.
The registration fee for the event is US$1,500 or about P63,000. It does not include hotel expenses and per diems.
A roundtrip plane ticket to New York City would around US$1,373 or around P59,000 according to a quote from one local travel agency.
Based on the 2013 annual budget of the Cebu provincial government, each PB member has budgets for local travel, foreign travel and training expenses.
The foreign travel funds range from P37,500 to P150,000 each.
Funds for training expenses reach up to P150,00.
Sanchez said the province must focus on rehabilitation of drug dependents especially on training of its personnel, especially since Cebu’s lone public facility in Argao town falls short.
“Rehabilitation is the prevention before they become criminals. Some of our senators even said that they want to set up more rehab centers but I was one of the persons who said, we should train people first,” she said.
“Good facilities are there but with the absence of trained personnel, it will not have an effect,” she said.
During the week-long workshop, participants will attend a lecture training “Treatment and Rehabilitation: Diverse Intervention and Treatment Approaches and “Clinical Challenges and Integration of Best Practices In Drug Treatment.”
Participants will also get to observe the management of Daytop’s drug rehab facility in Rhinebeck, US. The organization was founded in 1963 and is a major national organization mandated to assist in the rehabilitation of drug-dependent individuals through self-help.
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