China, DOH break ground for Sarangani drug rehab center

Photo from Chinese embassy of the groundbreaking ceremonies for the drug rehabilitation center in Sarangani province.

MANILA, Philippines — The Chinese embassy and the Department of Health broke ground Friday for one of two drug rehabilitation centers to be built in Mindanao, this one in Sarangani province.

“The Chinese government will always extend a helping hand when our close neighbor and friend is in need,” Chinese embassy economic and commercial counselor Jin Yuan said, adding the project is one of the results of President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to China in 2016.

The “Dangerous Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center” in Sarangani and another to be built in Agusan del Sur are the first Chinese grant-aid construction projects in the Philippines, the Chinese embassy said.

Each center has a gross floor area of 6,750 square meters, which can fit approximately 150 beds, and will house an admission or administration building, a pavilion/transition villa, a staff house and motor pool building, male and female dormitories , and a multi-purpose covered court, among others.

The construction of the rehabilitation centers is estimated to be completed in 21 months.

Jin also noted the financial assistance China provided after the earthquake in Surigao City and more recently to areas affected by tropical storm “Vinta,” as well as the machines and other equipment for the rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi City.

“I believe (that) under President Duterte’s leadership, together with the efforts of the Philippine people, the disaster-affected areas will soon be rebuilt into even better places,” he said.