MANILA, Philippines – Military camps and facilities will be used as drug rehabilitation centers, President Rodrigo Duterte said in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 25.
“We will also prioritize the rehabilitation of drug users. We will increase the number of residential treatment and rehabilitation facilities in all regions of the country. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will facilitate the preparation for the use of military camps and facilities for drug rehabilitation,” he said in his speech.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines and Congress welcomed the plan.
“We fully support the initiatives of our commander-in-chief to rehab drug users and provide them a second chance at life,” said AFP spokesperson Brigadier General Restituto Padilla.
Buhay party-list Representative Lito Atienza also welcomed the initiative as a “practical strategy.”
“We really have to cure loads of users if we are to lessen in a big way the demand side of the drug problem. There will always be suppliers – traffickers and pushers – as long as we have users generating the demand. And the capacity of existing DRCs, both public and private, is grossly inadequate,” Atienza said.
Duterte also said he will create an inter-agency committee on illegal drugs.
Military reservists will also be tapped for information campaign against drug use, he said.
“There can never be real, tangible and felt development without making our people feel secure and it is our duty to uplift the people’s welfare,” Duterte said. – Rappler.com
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