Chinese to fund 12-hectare drug rehab center in PH
MANILA, Philippines – A Chinese businessman is set to fund a 12-hectare drug rehabilitation center in the Philippines, the second Chinese-funded facility of its size in the country.
"I would like to take the opportunity to announce there is another private donation to build a rehabilitation center that will cover 120,000 square meters (12 hectares)," Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua said in a forum on Friday, October 14.
The area of the drug rehabilitation center is equivalent to around 17 soccer fields combined.
Zhao said the location of the rehabilitation center "is to be decided by the Filipino authorities."
He declined to name the Chinese donor.
Zhao's announcement came days before Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte makes a state visit to China – the first by a Philippine president after Manila filed a historic case against Beijing over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
Before making this announcement, the Philippine government said another Chinese businessman donated a 10,000-bed mega drug treatment and rehabilitation center (TRC) in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija.
The mega TRC was donated by Huang Rulun, a Chinese businessman and philanthropist who, according to Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial, "has no business interest in the Philippines" and whose businesses are all in China.
Ubial said Huang met Duterte thrice – twice, before he was elected president, and once after he won as president.
The Department of Health expects the second center to be "in full operation" by the first week of November.
China has vowed to assist the Philippines in its war on drugs after Duterte blamed Chinese syndicates for the spread of illegal drugs in the Philippines. – Rappler.com