City council OKs Davao mental health code

Mar. 12, 2019

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The City Council has approved in third and final reading the proposed Mental Health Code of Davao City, in a session held on Tuesday, March 12.

The new ordinance upholds the right of the people to mental health and encourages mental health consciousness.

Under the approved code, the city government will adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to the development of the Mental Health Care Program and Delivery System in Davao City.

It aims “to deliver appropriate services and interventions including provisions of mental health protection, care, treatment, and other essential services to those with mental illness or disability.”

The scope of the Mental Health Delivery System includes the primary health and social care services to meet the multiple needs of people with mental disorders.

Mental health services will be available and provided to by the barangay health workers, social workers, law enforcement personnel trained in identifying mental health concerns, and the adequately trained Emergency Central 911 personnel.

Availability of medicines is also assured under the new law in the district centers and trained physicians and nurses in private hospitals within the communities in Davao City.

Committee on health chair Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte, in an interview, said that the passage of the Mental Health Code of Davao City will be a good venue to bring the mental health awareness up to the community levels where barangay health workers will also undergo training and mentorships to ensure they know what to do in cases of mental health in their respective areas.

“Our barangay health workers will also undergo training on this and as far as the ordinance is the concern, additional personnel will be employed,” Villafuerte said.

The city government will also hire additional psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, and social workers in each district which Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has already verbally assured.

They will comprise the Mental Health Division under the City Health Office headed by a psychiatrist, with a psychologist and nurse per district, and a social worker trained with mental health.

A new facility worth PHP5 million will also be constructed inside the Institute of Psychiatric Behavioral Medicine (IPBM).

The construction of the new facility will be funded under the Office of the City Mayor. (

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