Duterte inaugurates biggest drug rehab facility in PH

NUEVA ECIJA, Philippines - On Tuesday, November 28, President Rodrigo Duterte inaugurated Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (DATRC) in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija.

The mega-facility, which can accommodate 10,000 patients, occupies a land area of 11 hectares and has a total construction area of 60,000 square meters. It is considered the first large scale drug rehabilitation center in the Philippines.

Duterte inaugurates biggest drug rehab facility in PH
PHOTO CREDIT: Adobotalkph.com
Previously, the firebrand president said drug dependents were already “beyond redemption. But the launch of the rehab facility could offer an alternative to Duterte’s brutal strategy in dealing with addicts and pushers.

Currently, there are about 700,000 drug users who have turned themselves to authorities through “Oplan Tokhang.”

According Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial, the Philippines has only 44 rehabilitation and treatment centers across the nation, which can only accommodate 3,000 patients. Moreover, most of these facilities are privately-owned.

Ubial added that the first batch of patients would come from “overcrowded” facilities in Central Luzon and nearby areas.

During his speech at the inauguration, Duterte promised to allot more resources to develop similar facilities in other parts of the country. He mentioned about the possibility of getting funds from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR). Recently, the government received P5 billion from PAGCOR.

Chinese real estate billionaire Huang Rulun, who donated P1.4 billion for the construction of two rehab centers in the country, is hoping that his donation will help curb the drug menace.

“Drug trafficking and drug abusing are the chief culprits in wrecking the society and destroying the people’s minds. Drugs have long plagued governments and people all over the world, and the spread of drugs has brought great harm to the economic development and social stabilities of all countries in the world,” Huang said in his speech.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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