No more ‘mega’ drug rehab centers, says DILG exec
The government has raised nearly P5 billion from private donations for drug rehabilitation but this will no longer be used to build “mega” drug rehabilitation centers, a ranking government official said on Tuesday.
Interior Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing said the government would instead use the money to build “simple” drug rehabilitation centers in each region.
“It’s not mega anymore but simple rehab centers that will have a population of at least 500,” Densing said.
He said the drug rehabilitation center in Taguig was being “expanded” while a donor had been found to put up another center in Bohol.
“We are just looking for land for that. In Bataan, another center is under construction,” Densing said.
“If you total all these drug rehabilitation centers we will put up, it will give us an additional 3,000 to 5,000 patient capacity. What’s good is that the private sector contributions for drug rehabilitation centers already reached close to P5 billion,” he added.
Department of the Interior and Local Government spokesperson Ricojudge Janvier M. Echiverri earlier noted that the “mega” drug treatment facility in Nueva Ecija was treating only a few drug users.
“Nobody’s volunteering to treat themselves. Nobody’s going there anymore,” said Echiverri.
“The drug rehabilitation center is so big but nobody’s using it. It’s not being used and we’re spending so much for the maintenance,” he added.
Echiverri said the 10-hectare rehabilitation center had a capacity of “2,000 to 3,000” patients because its remaining buildings were still being constructed.
“We’re discouraged … Why is it not being filled up? We are dismayed because the government is spending so much and yet nobody’s patronizing it,” he said.
Chinese real estate magnate Huang Rulun donated the funds for the construction of the center but the Department of Justice is spending money to maintain it.
A P700-million drug rehabilitation center is also going up in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. Once finished, it can house more than 5,000 drug patients.
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