Palace: Drug surrenderees surpass million mark

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The number of drug surrenderees has breached the one million mark.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the Philippine National Police (PNP) tally has now reached 1,007,153, recorded from July 1 to December 31, 2016.

The anti-drug campaign, "Project Tokhang," recorded 75,000 drug pushers and more than 930,000 drug users surrendering.

The PNP said it has conducted more than 40,000 anti-drug operations, resulting in the death of more than 2,000 drug personalities, and the arrest of more than 43,000.

The surrenderees comprise of drug pushers and users who voluntarily submit themselves to authorities. President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly said there are four million drug addicts in the country.

Read: NCRPO Chief: Hundreds of police relieved, transferred for drug-related activities

"Without a doubt the President's anti-drug war is a success," Andanar said.

He added the anti-drug operations resulted in the decline in the country's crime rate by 32 percent.

"It is therefore not surprising that the people's satisfaction, approval, and trust of the President remain high," Andanar said.

"People feel safer on the streets and at night because the number of theft, carjacking, robbery, rape, physical injury has decreased," he added.

In the latest survey by Social Weather Stations, President Duterte's net trust rating for the fourth quarter of 2016 was at +72 percent, a high rating even if it was four points down from the third quarter.

Read: Duterte's trust rating dips but still high – SWS

Andanar said the next step for those who have surrendered is  to undergo rehabilitation.

"We have already moved on with the second phase of the drug war with the inauguration of the mega drug rehabilitation facility in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija," he said.

Andanar said the government will be treating the drug problem as a public health issue by 2017, as rehabilitation programs are implemented.

Read: DOH announces soft opening of mega drug rehab center in Nueva Ecija