MANILA — The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, together with the Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH), on Friday held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a Dangerous Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (DATRC) in Sarangani province.
The Chinese Embassy’s Economic and Commercial Counsellor Jin Yuan, in his remarks, said the project is the fruit of President Rodrigo Duterte’s state visit to China in 2016 and one of the many benefits that resulted from the enhanced cooperation and healthy relationship between the two countries.
“The Chinese government will always extend a helping hand when our close neighbor and friend is in need,” said Jin.
He also mentioned China’s provision of cash assistance after the earthquake in Surigao City, machine and equipment for the rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi City, and the financial assistance for areas struck by Tropical Storm Vinta.
“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,” Jin said.
“China will continue (its) mutual beneficial cooperation with our Philippine counterparts. I believe with our joint efforts, we will share a very bright future together,” he added.
On behalf of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Undersecretary Roger Tong-An attended the event and expressed his trust in the continued friendship between the Philippines and China.
“Truly, our undertakings do not only build facilities but also build networks and synergies. Whatever good things we build end up building us,” Tong-An said.
“Let us continue to weave collaborative strategies as we introduce meaningful transformation and significant change for our people. Let us all bear the torch of change and be a beacon of hope for the society, especially to those who have fallen victim to the lure of illicit drugs,” he added.
Sarangani Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon and Mayor Vic Paul Salarda also delivered their messages, expressing appreciation to the Chinese government and hoping for continued healthy relations between the two countries and their peoples.
The two Dangerous Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers, located in Sarangani and Agusan del Sur respectively, are the first Chinese grant-aid construction project in the Philippines.
The project covers two modern and scientific drug rehabilitation centers that will provide a comfortable treatment environment for the patients.
Each center has a gross floor area of 6,750 sq. meters, which could fit approximately 150 beds. Each center will house an admission or administration building, a pavilion/transition villa, a staff house and motor pool building, male and female dormitory buildings, and a multi-purpose covered court, among others.
The construction of the rehabilitation centers is estimated to be completed in 21 months. (Chinese Embassy)