Many of the Philippines’ drug problems are rooted in poverty. Source: Wikimedia
The Philippines has unveiled plans to open what it called a “mega” drug rehabilitation centre in November, funded by a Chinese businessman, capable of treating up to 10,000 patients.
The clinic to the north of Manila has been funded by Chinese property magnate Huang Rulun, whose net worth is US$3.9 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
President Rodrigo Duterte is due to visit China next week with business leaders as he moves closer to Beijing, while criticising his traditional allies in Washington.
He has called US President Barack Obama a “son of a whore” and UN chief Ban Ki-moon a “fool” over criticism of his so-called drugs war.
“This initiative will not only benefit these drug victims whom we want to help and reach out to, but also for the change that we envision for our country,” health secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial told the media.
The centre would be built using 75 shipping containers imported from China, announced Ubial.
The authorities say around 700,000 addicts have come forward to register themselves but the country has few options for them.
Duterte has said he had officially invited the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions Agnes Callamard to investigate the drug killings since he took office.
Callamard has said she would discuss the date and scope of her fact-finding mission, state guarantees for her freedom of movement and inquiry and assurances about the safety of mission members and anyone they interviewed.
Duterte insisted that he and his police were not doing anything illegal and that officers were forced to shoot and kill after the drug suspects put up a fight.