DOH to fast track creation of drug rehab centers in PHL

Apr. 05, 2017

Department of Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial in a press conference in Davao City on Tuesday, April 4 announces that the department will build more drug rehabilitation center. (Paulo C. Rizal/

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—In order not to hamper the success of government’s war on drug, the Department of Health said it fast-tracked the establishment of rehabilitation centers across the country.

DOH Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial said that the government has now 44 rehabilitation centers in the country.

“We have 44 rehab centers nationwide, 13 are from the government and the rest are private,” Ubial told reporters here in a news conference Tuesday.

Ubial said the state-run rehab centers have more than 100 beds.

In Mindanao alone, there are nine rehabilitation centers located in Davao, Saranggani, Bukidnon, and Agusan.

In Davao City, four rehabilitation centers will be operational by November or December this year, according to Ubial. These rehab centers are said to be donated by Chinese business sectors which could accommodate about 300 patients.

Ubial also said that DOH’s budget for drug rehabilitation this year increased from P600 million in 2016 to P3 billion.

With this, the health secretary pointed out the need for local government units to have a community-based rehab program for drug victims.

“What is required in municipalities and cities is a community-based rehabilitation program,” Ubial said. “[A] physician is trained in assessing the surrenderees.”

Since December 2016, a total of 1, 007, 153 suspected drug pushers and users have surrendered to government since the inception of “Oplan Tokhang” while the spate of drug-related killings reached up to more than 7,000 based on the records provided by the Philippine National Police.

Meanwhile, Assistant Secretary Elmer Punzalan of the Department of Health said that the government’s 44 drug rehabilitation centers could only hold a maximum of 5,000 persons.

He also pointed out that not all who surrendered to the government were required to undergo rehabilitation. (

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