President Duterte eyes more drug rehab centers for overwhelming number of surrendered drug personalities

DAVAO CITY — President Rodrigo R. Duterte plans to build more regional drug rehabilitation centers as the government faces shortage of facilities for drug dependents following the growing number of persons using illegal drugs who surrendered voluntarily.

“I have to build regional, itong (this) drug rehabilitation. I would need time but the law and order cannot wait,” the President said during a meeting with law enforcers at the Philippines Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) office on Friday night.

It was in that same meeting that Cebu-based business trader, Peter Lim appeared before the President to clear his name.

Peter Lim was mentioned by President Duterte as one of the big-time traders involved in the triad operation of illegal drugs in the country.

Duterte has reiterated his all-out war against the illegal drugs and crime in the country.

“There is crime in the streets. People are getting raped, robbed, pati mga nanay, tatay pinapatay (even mothers, fathers are killed),” he said as he emphasized the important role of the barangay officials in the campaign against illegal drugs and crime.

“I will charge also the barangay captains who do not do anything about it,” he said.

The President said barangay officials can help find activities for the people like playing basketball.

Meanwhile, PDEA Director General Isidro Lapeña said there are five regions which do not have rehabilitation centers except for privately-operated facilities.

Lapeña said they are working on ways to establish drug rehabilitation centers for government to cope with the big number of persons involved in drugs who surrendered and wanted to undergo rehab.

One way of addressing this is to determine those who can be considered “outpatient.” Lapeña said these are people whose addiction is not serious.

In Davao region, Lapeña said local chief executives have already indicated to put up rehabilitation centers.

“This should be the trend now in Local Government Units (LGUs),” Lapeña said. PNA/