THE Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, together with the Philippines’s Department of Health (DOH), held a groundbreaking ceremony on January 12 for the construction of a Dangerous Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (DATRC) in Sarangani province.
In his remarks, the Chinese Embassy’s Economic and Commercial Counselor Jin Yuan said the project is the fruit of President 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,” Jin remarked.
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 Typhoon 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,” the Chinese counselor commented.
“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 T. Duque III, Undersecretary Roger P. 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. He furthered, “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.”
Sarangani Gov. Steve Chiongbian Solon and Mayor Vic Paul M. Salarda also delivered their messages, which expressed appreciation to the Chinese government and hoped for continued healthy relations between the two countries and their peoples. The two DATRCs in Sarangani and Agusan del Sur 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 square 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 multipurpose covered court, among others.
The construction of the rehabilitation centers is estimated to be complete in 21 months.
Image credits: Chinese Embassy