Drug rehab center in Fort Magsaysay opens next week
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday said that part of the 10,000-bed mega drug treatment and rehabilitation center at Fort Magsaysay in Laur, Nueva Ecija, would open next week and begin admitting patients.
A total of 2,500 beds for patients seeking treatment and rehabilitation will be available when the first of the project’s four phases is opened on Nov. 29, Interior Undersecretary John Castriciones said.
“With the opening of this facility, the government is fulfilling its promise to assist and help those who are willing to mend their ways,” Castriciones said in a statement.
The Duterte administration’s controversial war on illegal drugs, mainly conducted through the Philippine National Police’s Oplan “Double Barrel,” recorded more than 731,000 self-confessed drug addicts surrendering to authorities as of Nov. 17.
Castriciones said President Duterte wanted to build at least two rehabilitation centers in Luzon, one each in Visayas and Mindanao, with the long-term goal of having at least one in every province.
The funds for the construction of the facility on a 75-hectare portion of Fort Magsaysay were donated by a Chinese billionaire, real estate magnate Huang Rulun, who was once a trader in Manila’s Chinatown district in the 1980s.
The center held its soft opening last month during which the newly hired staff conducted a dry run on patient management.
Castriciones said the task force would be meeting weekly for the partial opening of the Nueva Ecija drug rehabilitation center.
He said the task force was studying a proposal from the Friends of the Philippines Foundation, whose leaders the President met during his visit to China last month, for the construction of another drug rehabilitation facility, worth P700 million, on a 25-hectare lot to be provided by the government.
The DILG chairs the government interagency task force created by Executive Order (EO) No. 5 and tasked with overseeing the establishment of drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation centers (DATRCs) throughout the country.
In the EO, Mr. Duterte also designated as task force members the heads or appointed representatives of the social welfare and budget departments, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Office of the President.
Under the EO, the Department of Health shall operate, maintain, and manage the DATRCs.
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