The national government has allotted around P350 million for the construction this year of a regional drug rehabilitation center in Alabel town in Sarangani province.
Dr. Arvin Alejandro, Sarangani provincial health officer, said the Department of Health (DOH) has issued the go-signal for the development of the facility, which will be implemented under the “Grant-Aid Dangerous Drug Abuse Treatment Rehabilitation Centers Project.”
He said Sarangani and Agusan del Sur were chosen as recipients of the project, which is supported by the government of China.
The project was noted as one of the outcomes of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s state visit to China last year.
DOH officials and representatives from the Chinese Embassy in Manila signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday for the implementation of the project.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Sarangani officials led by Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon and Vice Governor Elmer de Peralta.
Alejandro said the drug rehabilitation facility will be constructed in a three-hectare lot in Barangay Kawas in Alabel, the province’s capital town.
He said the provincial government, through Governor Solon, had committed to provide the project site as counterpart.
Engineers from China’s Tonji University visited the site for an ocular inspection two weeks ago, he said.
“The drug rehabilitation center will have a capacity of 150 beds and will operate a recovery clinic,” he said in a statement.
Alejandro said the facility will be operated and managed by the DOH and will cater to drug dependents from Region 12.
Also known as Soccsksaren, the region covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato, and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
He said the development of the center is expected to provide employment opportunities to qualified residents as well as livelihood for community stakeholders at the site. (PNA)