MANILA - The country has enough drug rehabilitation centers and there is no need to build additional large-scale facilities, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Wednesday.
The 13 regional rehabilitation centers can handle "more difficult" cases while the rest can be delegated to community-based facilities, Duque told ANC's Early Edition.
"I think we're okay now. We can already live with the existing drug treatment rehabilitation centers," Duque said in an interview on ANC's Early Edition.
Duque said a 10,000-bed "mega" rehabilitation center in Nueva Ecija facility "will not go to waste" as it could be used for other purposes.
"I don't think it's a mistake. You have to be innovative, creative, you have to see for other uses it might serve. Parts of it may be used for some other purpose that is just the same aligned with our health agenda," he said.
Former Dangerous Drugs Board Chairman Dionisio Santiago earlier said the Nueva Ecija center was "impractical" and a "mistake" as it caters to only 311 residents as of June.
Duterte eventually asked Santiago to resign.
Duque said there were only about 40,000 "difficult" cases. President Rodrigo Duterte estimates there are 4 million drug addicts in the country.