Japan provides P826 million to improve drug rehab facilities

Posted on April 04, 2017

JAPAN has provided P826 million worth of aid to the Department of Health (DoH), with the funds intended to improve the country’s drug rehabilitation centers.

A mass surrender of some 1,000 alleged drug users and pushers in the town of Tanauan, Batangas on July 18, 2016. -- AFP
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Department of Health signed yesterday a P826 million (¥1.85 billion) agreement to enhance rehabilitation facilities and treatment protocols of drug dependents.

“As a long standing friend and development partner of the Philippines, JICA supports DoH towards working for a common vision of a drug-free society,” said JICA Chief Representative Susumu Ito in a statement yesterday.

“Through this development cooperation, we aim to help provide rehabilitation support for drug dependents so eventually they can integrate themselves back into society,” he added.

The project, Consolidated Rehabilitation of Illegal Drug Users (CARE), intends to “provide an opportunity for drug dependents to reduce the risk of relapse, walk through a path of recovery and integrate them back into society.”

Aside from improving facilities, the CARE program also seeks to “improve operational and service standards for recovering drug dependents, develop information materials on preventive education and awareness against illegal drugs.”

President Rodrigo R. Duterte has made the anti-drug campaign a priority since the start of his presidency.

According to 2015 data from the Dangerous Drugs board, about 5,402 are admitted to drug rehabilitation facilities nationwide, with a little over half unemployed.

JICA is also set to draft an urban infrastructure plan in Davao City, covering solid waste management, energy management, water and wastewater management, urban transportation and environmental preservation. -- Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan