By Genalyn Kabiling
The government may use a portion of the mega drug rehabilitation center located inside a military camp in Nueva Ecija as temporary office and shelter for the troops.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque proposed the alternative use of the large drug treatment facility since the government cannot use the entire 10,000-bed center.
“Nag-o-operate po iyan on the limited capacity, I understand mga 400 client po mayroon sila diyan ‘no. Siguro iyong kabuuan ng concrete ay pupuwede nating magawan ng ibang silbi dahil iyan naman po ay nasa loob ng kampo. (It is operating on the limited capacity. I understand that they have around 400 clients. Maybe the rest of the concrete facility may be used for other purpose since it is located inside the military camp),” Roque said in a radio interview.
“So puwede po iyang maging tuluyan ng sundalo, pupuwede po iyang maging opisina. Pero kung hindi po talaga magagamit iyan ng libo-libong mga rehab client eh hindi naman po mauubusan ng gamitin ‘yan (It can serve as shelter for the soldiers. It can also be used as office space. If it can’t fully utilized by thousands of rehabilitation clients, it won’t run out of other purposes),” he said.
Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) chair Dionisio Santiago earlier claimed the establishment of the huge drug treatment facility inside Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija was impractical.
Santiago said the money should have been used instead to establish community-based rehabilitation centers that allow a family support system.
Roque has assured that no public funds were wasted in the drug facility, saying it was donated by a Chinese philanthropist who wanted to help in the government’s war on drugs.
He said the government could not decline the generous offer of the Chinese tycoon. “Siya naman na talaga ang may karapatan para magdesisyon kung paano gagastusin ang pera niya (He has the right to decide on how he would spend his money),” he added.
Roque however said the Palace agreed with Santiago’s proposal to focus on strengthening community-based drug treatment facilities.
Chinese tycoon Huang Rulun has donated P1.4 billion for the establishment of the huge drug rehabilitation facility located in Nueva Ecija. President Duterte has profusely thanked the Chinese billionaire for his donation, even describing him a good Samaritan.
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