DDB chief clarifies: Nueva Ecija mega-rehab facility a miscalculation, not a mistake

  • Dangerous Drugs Board chief clarified earlier remark on mega-rehab facility
  • He said construction, location of facility a miscalculation
  • He again stressed that smaller facilities spread out in PH would be more effective

MANILA, Philippines  –  Not a mistake, just a miscalculation.

Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) chief Dionisio Santiago made this clarification on his earlier remark with respect to the mega-rehab facility located in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija.

According to Santiago, advisers of President Rodrigo Duterte may not have considered the unfeasibility of the structure when it was put up in such a place.

“It’s not a ‘mistake’,” CNN Philippines quoted him as saying. “May miscalculation ang mga nag-advise niyan [There was a miscalculation on the part of those who gave the advice].”

The former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said less drug addicts could be accommodated and the chances of relapse would be higher because of the facility’s location.

“Drug rehab needs family support eh. So kung dadalhin mo doon ang lahat ng addict mo, kagaya ng—merong taga-Batangas diyan. Hindi makadalaw ang pamilya dahil unang-una, malayo at magastos,” he said.

[Drug rehab needs family support. So if you bring all your addicts there, like for example from Batangas. The family wouldn’t be able to visit him because first of all, it’s far and expensive.]

Santiago also fears the facility is turning into another Bilibid because all the drug addicts would be concentrated in one location.”

“Ibig sabihin, pati sa Mindanao diyan pupunta. ‘Di para kang Bilibid,” he said.

[This means even those from Mindanao will go there. You’ll turn out like Bilibid.]

The DDB chief nevertheless stressed that government through the Department of Health (DOH) is set on the construction of smaller regional facilities to better accommodate drug addicts.

“Nanghihingi pa ang DOH para makumpleto ‘yung mga, by law, regional health facilities. Kulang pa ng apat,” he said.

[The DOH is asking for a budget to complete by law regional health facilities. We still need four.]