Camps as rehab centers ‘practical’


President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to build additional drug rehabilitation centers (DRCs) inside military camps is a “practical strategy,” according to a lawmaker.

“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, former three-term mayor of Manila and now Buhay party-list representative in Congress, said in a statement on Tuesday.

The use of military camps is sensible because drug treatment is supposed to be confined, and campsites have plenty of idle land, according to the congressman.

In his first State of the Nation Address, Duterte said that since he took office on July 1, more than 120,000 drug users, 70,000 of whom are also pushers, have already voluntarily surrendered to the authorities.

“Sudden withdrawal from drug use may cause serious behavioral problems among addicts and endanger families and communities. We cannot just tell these surrenderees to perform a dance workout and then send them home after getting their personal details. These users have to be treated. Otherwise, they will just end up using drugs again,” Atienza said.

On the President’s remarks concerning illegal fish pens choking Laguna Lake, the former mayor, however, expressed disappointment that Duterte stopped short of giving a direct order for the immediate dismantling of the prohibited structures.


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