DAVAO CITY: City Councilor Lorenzo Villafuerte here is pushing for the establishment of a physical therapy (PT) stroke rehabilitation center in each of the three districts in the city.

Villafuerte during the recent AFP-PNP Press Corps briefing at The Royal Mandaya Hotel said the proposed ordinance is now at the Committee on Health under the chairmanship of Second District Councilor Cheche Justol.

He said the proposed ordinance creating the PT stroke rehabilitation center in every district health center had already passed under the first reading wherein they invited stakeholders, rehabilitation doctors, and other physical therapists.

Villafuerte, who is a physical therapist by profession, said he hopes that this will be approved within the current year to be able to establish the center the soonest to give individuals in need to recover through free physical therapy.

"I will help in any way I can together with the Department of Health and other stakeholders to establish stroke rehab for us to offer free physical therapy. In private clinics, it would cost about P500-P1,000 per session," he said.

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Villafuerte, however, said there is already an existing PT therapy stroke center and he wants to replicate this to other districts in the city. He said his family also owns a similar clinic in Calinan Poblacion.

He said stroke remains the second leading cause of death and one of the top five leading causes of disability in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the city joins the celebration of World Physical Therapy Day on September 8 with free PT services that will be offered for those patients who need treatment for an injury or deformity.

World Physical Therapy Day is celebrated worldwide to raise awareness about the critical role of physical therapists and chronic pain therapies in keeping people healthy and fit. It also educates patients about healthy behaviors and restores lost or damaged functionality.

World Physical Therapy Day 2022 will focus on osteoarthritis.

"We want to raise awareness about physical therapy. What are the role, treatment and prevention in physical therapy with regards to people with osteoarthritis," Villafuerte said.

He said osteoarthritis is very prevalent in the Philippines. In fact, around 4.2 million Filipinos suffer from this condition.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease in which the tissues in the joint break down over time. It is the most common type of arthritis and is more common in older people.

People with osteoarthritis usually have joint pain and, after rest or inactivity, stiffness for a short period of time. The most commonly affected joints include hands (ends of the fingers and at the base and ends of the thumbs), knees, hips, neck and lower back.