Posted in CNN PHILIPPINES By: Ver Marcelo, CNN Philippines Updated 15:36 PM PHT Sat, February 25, 2017
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Rodrigo Duterte led the turnover of a rehabilitation facility for drug reformists in the Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS), Davao del Norte on Friday.
The facility is located in Sito Maag, Barangay Peñaplata, and was donated by the Bangayan Family and the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII).
The building alone costs P500,000, and FFCCCII plans to donate a total of 15 facilities nationwide -- 5 each in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
The rehabilitation facility aims to provide outpatient drug dependents with counseling and the right intervention.
Since Duterte's presidency, a total of 1,186 Samal residents involved in drugs have surrendered and vowed to reform by actively participating in government-prepared recovery programs.
As of December 2016, some 48 licensed Drug Abuse and Rehabilitation Centers operate nationwide.
However, with the ongoing campaign against illegal drugs, the government lacks facilities to meet a shortage of some 30,000 beds needed to rehabilitate drug dependents.
Duterte said the FFCCCII donation will strengthen the government's efforts to stop the use and curb the effects of illegal drugs among Filipinos.
The President also thanked the Filipino-Chinese community for its positive response to his war against drugs.
"Let us rejoice that there are still people who look our way in the light of what we have done and for helping us out, trying to rehabilitate our countrymen," he said.
Stand against illegal drugs
In his speech, Duterte once again emphasized his firm stand against illegal drugs, taking the opportunity to swipe at the Catholic Church and members of the clergy, who are some of his most vocal critics.
He urged them to similarly get involved in the campaign within their communities.
"Go to the barangays and convince people who are into drugs to go away from it," he said.
Duterte also decried the involvement of government officials and policemen in the issue, noting that around 40 percent of barangay captains nationwide are into drugs.
He added about 6,000 policemen and 32 municipal mayors are involved in illegal drug activities.
The President also expressed his dismay as some children of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) waste their parents' hard-earned money on illegal drugs.
He added drug pushers should not use human rights and due process as an excuse.
Duterte said he "will assume full, legal, responsibility for" all the actions of the Philippine National Police and the army who are carrying out their duties in line with his campaign.
"I took my oath of office…to protect the Filipino people," he said.
CNN Philippines' stringer Ben Tesiorna contributed to this report.