Duterte to lead opening of mega drug rehab center

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – President Rodrigo R. Duterte will inaugurate today (Nov 29) the phase 1 of Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center also known as “mega” rehab center in the country, built within the military reservation area adjacent to Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija.

Phase 1 of the rehab center can accommodate 2,500 patients. The entire project has the capacity of 10,000-bed.

Once fully operational, DATRC is the second government facility that caters to drug dependents in Central Luzon. The first is Central Luzon Drug Rehabilitation Center (CLDRC) situated at Barangay Sto. Nino, Magalang, Pampanga.

CLDRC can accommodate more than 1,000 drug dependent patients. It is subsidized by the Department of Health (DoH) and managed by Sagip-Bie Foundation (Save Lives), a non-profit and non-stock non-government organization.

Unlike CLDRC which was built through volunteerism and donations from different groups including local government units, business, civic and religious organizations in the region, DATRC construction was funded by a Chinese business tycoon Huang Rulun, who is expected to join Duterte during the opening of the center.

During his visit there, Duterte will also unveil marker of the newly constructed building and reportedly welcome the first batch of patients to be admitted for treatment.

In Central Luzon alone, more than 12,000 illegal drugs dependents have voluntarily surrendered to authorities to avoid the heat of the government “war on drug”.

Bulacan has the biggest number of suspected drug addicts who sought government intervention, followed by Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Bataan, Angeles City and Olongapo City.

Central Luzon police director Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino said hundreds of erring policemen both officers and non-officers in various offices in the region have been reassigned to different units in southern Mindanao as disciplinary action.

Aquino said some policemen, who declined to heed to his instruction, went on absent without leave (AWOL) and were dropped from police roster.

Since 2005, the national government had been allocating P1,000.000 every year for the construction of rehabilitation center in every region in the country.