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Duterte inaugurates mega drug rehab facility in Nueva Ecija

President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his speech before the Filipino community in Vietnam during a meeting held at the Intercontinental Hotel on Sept. 28 2016. PPD/Ace Morandante, File photo

FORT MAGSAYSAY, Philippines – President  Rodrigo Duterte inaugurated Tuesday a mega drug rehabilitation center in Nueva Ecija and has vowed to allot more resources to build similar facilities in other parts of the country. 

The drug treatment facility, which was donated by Chinese real estate billionaire Huang Rulun, can serve 10,000 patients. It occupies a land area of 11 hectares and has a total construction area of 60,000 square meters with 172 building units, making it the first large scale drug rehabilitation center in the country. 

“We savor the moment that Mr. Huang has travelled away, all the way from his homeland to share his money,” Duterte said during the inauguration of the facility. 

“With the help of course of the good souls in this planet, we will overcome (the drug problem),” he added. 

Huang, the chairman of the board of directors of Century Golden Resources Group, donated P1.4 billion to build two rehabilitation centers in the country. He said his donation was his contribution to curbing the drug menace, which he called “the common enemy of mankind.” 

“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. 

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Huang, who traded in Binondo, Manila in the 1980s, lauded Duterte for his intense campaign against illegal drugs. 

“Since taking office this June, President Duterte has decisively waged an anti-drug campaign with an irresistible force, adhering to the high faith and loyalty to uphold the independence of the Philippines, and to seek long lasting national destiny,” the businessman said. 

Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said the facility would contribute significantly to the effort to curb the drug menace, noting that the Philippines lacks rehabilitation centers. She said the country only has 44 treatment and rehabilitation centers nationwide, most of them privately-owned. The facilities can only accommodate 3,000 patients.

“Clearly we lack the facilities to cope with the demand,” Ubial said, adding that the first batch of patients to be admitted to the mega center consists of 100 persons.  

Duterte vowed to allot more funds to build more rehabilitation facilities.  

“Maybe you have the money, maybe you don’t have it but then let us say next year, and if I can get hold of P1.5 (billion), maybe I will also build another one, this time somewhere in the Visayas,” the president said.  

Duterte said one of the possible sources of funding is the P5 billion turned over by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR). The amount was turned over by PAGCOR chairperson Andrea Domingo in a courtesy call on the president in Monday night in Malacañang. 

Duterte reiterated that he would not stop his crackdown on illegal drugs until his last day in office. 

“I said there will be no compromise. The only compromise here – I’ll go now but the only compromise that is acceptable to me is you (drug lords) surrender,” the president said. 

“If you continue, I said, you might end losing not only your funds but your life. Because I told the police, the law enforcers and the men, do not hesitate to kill especially if you think that your life is in danger,” he added. 

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