China-funded drug rehab centers to be built in Mindanao
DAVAO CITY – Two Chinese government-backed drug rehabilitation facilities will be built in Mindanao, with one targeted to be constructed this year.
The construction of one of the two facilities is targeted to start in Sarangani province this year, according to Dr. Arvin Alejandro, the Sarangani provincial health officer.
Alejandro said on March 13, the memorandum of agreement for the construction of the facility was signed by Philippine and Chinese officials in Manila.
Beijing was represented by Jin Yuan, the economic and commercial counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Manila while the Philippine government was represented by Health Assistant Secretary Elmer Punzalan.
Sarangani Gov. Steve Chiongbian Solon, who attended the signing ceremony held at the Department of Health Central Office in Manila, said the provincial government has pledged to acquire the three-hectare land in Barangay Kawas in Alabel town, required for the project.
Solon said the P350-million drug rehabilitation facility would have a 150-bed capacity and would also include a recovery clinic.
“(It) has been targeted to be constructed this year,” he said, adding that Chinese engineers from the Shanghai-based Tongji University had inspected the possible site.
“It will be a DOH-operated and managed facility to cater to drug dependents from the (Central Mindanao) area,” Alejandro said.
In February, Chinese engineers also visited the possible site of a P700-million drug rehabilitation facility inside the Army camp in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.
The proposed facility will also serve as halfway house and will house clinics for local residents undergoing drug rehab treatment.
Agusan del Sur Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza said the new facility would complement the existing Outpatient Drop-In Center (ODIC) within the Capitol complex; and the Residential Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (RTRC) at the headquarters of the Army’s 401st Infantry Brigade.
The ODIC is being managed by Mark Larry Chua, an international drug addiction therapist, while the RTRC is being run and operated by the Agusan del Sur government. SFM
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.