Rehab center employees slam delayed salary
FORT MAGSAYSAY, Palayan City: Doctors at the Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (DATRC) here said delayed salaries and lack of supplies have force some employees to resign, a move that might adversely affect the rehabilitation of 1,090 former drug dependents in the center.
Chief section psychologist Eduardo Elmido over the weekend said they have not received their pay for almost two months now and the situation forced some of his staff to leave and find other jobs.
From the previous 22 psychometricians, only 10 now are rendering service at the center.
Three nurses recently resigned from the DATRC.
The employees who requested anonymity said they had to buy office supplies (bond paper, computer ink, folders, envelops, graduation certificates) with their own money just to continue the operation of the center.
Those in the minimum wage bracket of P12,000 to P15,000 a month could barely cope with their apartment rental of P2,500 a month and their subsistence expenses.
Ranking psychologists receive P27,000 while their assistant psychometrician and nurse assistant get P15,000 and job-order employees, P12,000 a month.
A source revealed that about 100 residents who have completed only four months of rehabilitation were made to “graduate” for lack of funds.
The required treatment period for each resident is six months to one year.
Dr. Nelson Dancel, chief of the medical center told The Manila Times, that the DATRC has originally 200 employees but is now down to 160, some of them job orders.
He said the employees who resigned just got another job at the nearest province’s rehabilitation center.
Dancel added that the center is not yet included in the 2018 budget of the Department of Health (DoH), the reason for the delay in the employees’ salary.
The DATRC’s monthly expenses amount to P7 million for electricity, gasoline and water bills, including the residents’ meals.
Dancel said for 2019, the center has an P86-million budget approved by the Department of Budget and Management but not yet signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Some 18 residents from San Antonio town graduated from the center on October 14, while Talavera Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council led a reunion of 250 former residents who received an early Christmas gift from Mayor Nerivi Santos Martinez and the chief of police, Supt. Joe Neil Rojo.