CLARK FREEPORT – Despite the suspension of the campaign against illegal drugs, the Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday stressed that they will continue the rehabilitation program of drug suspects who have already surrendered to authorities.

This was disclosed by Health Secretary Paulyn Rosell-Ubial during the Central Luzon Dangerous Drug Summit held at the Royce Hotel here.

Ubial said that treatment of more than 1 million drug surrenderers nationwide will be pursued as they were already identified by the government.

She added that rehabilitation and treatment of drug suspects is one of the priority projects of their agency in line with the flagship program of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“We cannot just leave the identified drug users and pushers just like that. They have surrendered themselves to the government in the hope that they will be treated and that is what we will do,” she said.

Ubial also asserted that the war against dangerous drugs did not really stop but its operation was just transferred to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

For the mean time, the health secretary said they will just first cater the drug suspects who have already turned themselves in to authorities in the 485 established rehabilitation centers in the country.

In Central Luzon alone, DOH Undersecretary Leonita Gorgolon disclosed that only 127 of the total 129,217 surrenderers were admitted in the Mega Drug Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija province.

This are aside from the already hundreds of self-confessed pushers and users who have undergone and are currently undergoing reformation programs in their respective communities, she said.

She added that the agency can cater to more drug dependent patients inside the 10,000 bed mega rehabilitation center where they will undergo physical, mental and spiritual activities, among others.

However, Gorgolon said that self-confessed drug users who will be diagnosed with severe addiction will be the priority in the treatment hub.

She added that patients must first have various court orders processed before they can be admitted to the mega drug rehabilitation center to avoid complications with the law.

“Of course we do not want to be charged with kidnapping or illegal detention that is why we are ensuring the legal processes,” she noted.