MANILA, Philippines - President Duterte will inaugurate today the “mega” drug rehabilitation and treatment center in Nueva Ecija, in line with government efforts to solve the country’s narcotics problem.
At the same time, the provincial government of Pangasinan is about to accept a donation of a two-hectare lot in Burgos town for the building of another drug rehabilitation center.
Department of Health (DOH) spokesman Eric Tayag said the 10,000-bed facility in Nueva Ecija would have some 2,000 drug dependents as its first batch of patients.
Tayag said the patients initially come from overcrowded drug rehabilitation facilities in Dagupan, Bataan, Tagaytay and Bicutan.
“The patients are actually victims of the illegal drug trade, so we want to ensure that they are provided adequate and compassionate services for rehabilitation,” Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said.
Duterte is expected to inspect the 100,000-square-meter facility and acknowledge the donors during the inauguration, which is set to start at 2 p.m.
The drug facility, located at Fort Magsaysay, the country’s largest military camp, can accommodate about 10,000 patients.
Ubial said the center had initially hired about 1,000 personnel.
Huang Rulun, a Chinese real estate billionaire who traded in Binondo, Manila in 1986, funded the 100,000-square-meter rehabilitation center, whose construction started last July.
The government is planning to build three more drug treatment and rehabilitation facilities in various parts of the country.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) is providing a Medical Detoxification Package worth P10,000 for its drug dependent members.
PhilHealth said the package, a one-time benefit availment, is the agency’s contribution to the government’s fight against the illegal drug menace.
In Pangasinan, the provincial board has authorized the governor to sign and accept a donation of a two-hectare lot for the building of a drug rehabilitation center in the province.
Fourth district board member Jeremy Agerico Rosario, who authored the approved resolution, said the lot donor, former Burgos town mayor Demetrio Cabiles, with consent of his wife Belen Cabiles, had duly signed the Deed of Donation in 1992.
An earlier provincial resolution approved on June 8, 1992, authorized the provincial governor to accept the donation of Cabiles.
The lot is located in San Vicente, Burgos but the donation was not consummated until now, as the Deed of Donation was not yet signed by the then governor and the lot not yet accepted by the province.
The lot can be used primarily by the province as a venue for rehabilitation center in order to help drug users undergo treatment, the latest resolution said.
The provincial government’s aim to build a rehabilitation center inside the sprawling Camp Tito Abat in Manaoag town was disapproved, Rosario said. – With Eva Visperas