MANILA -- Malacanang on Thursday welcomed Sen. Vicente Sotto III’s suggestion to use the mega drug rehabilitation and treatment center located in Nueva Ecija as a ‘drug enforcement academy’.

“We welcome the suggestion of Senator Vicente Sotto III on the mega drug rehabilitation and treatment center in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

Roque said the long-term goal of the government to make use of the facility for other purposes.

"Our long-term vision is once the drug problem has been resolved, this can be turned over to the military who owns the land or other agencies of government that can utilize, manage and optimize the facility," Roque added.

Sotto earlier said the facility can be used as an extension of the existing Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) academy.

The construction of the facility started in July 2016 and can accommodate 10,000 patients once completed.

The Department of Health earlier said the center will have 2,000 drug dependents for its first batch of patients coming from other overcrowded facilities in the country. (PNA)