President Rodrigo Duterte has urged the Philippines allies to treat us like friends by helping us build drug rehab centers.
“And that is why I am the guy, if I don’t respect you anymore, be prepared for the worst, because I can give you gallons of gallons of epithets, curses and… But look at this guy when they are -- they joke them, and then I said I will not pity them,” Duterte said in his speech at the 115th anniversary of the Philippine Coast Guard which he delivered before US and Japanese Coast Guard officials.
Duterte asked the Philippines’ allies to prove that they are indeed the country’s friends by supporting his war on drugs by building rehabilitation centers for the country’s drug addicts.
The President later presented a newspaper report on the China-funded construction of the “mega rehab center” in Nueva Ecija.
“If you are a friend, if you are an ally, if you are joined by a Western alliance, you should do this,” Duterte said, while holding up the newspaper showing the photo of the drug rehabilitation being built.
“It’s a dormitory, apartment, backhouses. And they have built it for us. Ni hi no ha. No announcement. And it would house 1,600,” the President then revealed.
He said that the project would be completed by October 15.
The Department of Health on Wednesday said the Mega Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Center being constructed in a military camp in Nueva Ecija is halfway finished and will be fully operational on the first week of November.
“Six weeks after foundations were laid, building structures gradually took shape and now, 50 percent of the facility has been constructed,” Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial told reporters at a press conference.
It was constructed on a 75,000-hectare land at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija, she said.
Ubial said the construction of the drug rehabilitation center began in July 2016, but full construction started soon after she went to Beijing, China last September to sign a deed of donation with Chinese businessman and philanthropist Huang Rulun.
Rulun donated a total of 10,000 beds for the rehabilitation center, she said.
Partial turnover of 2,500 of these beds will be on Saturday, while turnover for the remaining 7,500 will be done on Nov. 16.
Rulun is a private-held real estate developer who has invested in 20 five-star hotels and 10 shopping malls in China.
Ubial said Rulun met with Duterte thrice to ask how he could help address the drug problem in the country: twice during his campaign and once after he assumed office.
As for the other amenities in the facility, Ubial said the right wing of the building, which can accommodate almost 1,000 in-patients and offices, are ready to be furnished, while the left wing of the building and the female dormitory are still being constructed.
“Facilities will be ready for occupancy on Oct. 17, but people will not be transferred until November,” Ubial said.
“It is expected to be finished by the end of October 2016,” she added.