One of the 13 taipans who recently promised to help the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in the drug rehabilitation program has taken the initial step to fulfill his promise.
Mr. Ronald Elepano, Jr. first Vice President of D.M. Consunji, Incorporated (DMCI) recently handed over to DILG Secretary Ismael D. Sueno the check amounting to P23.493 million as the company's donation for the said program.
The said amount was given during the small group meeting attended by Sec. Sueno, Mr. Elepano, DILG Undersecretary John R. Castriciones, DILG Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing, and Asec. Aurora Ignacio of the Office of the Special Assistant to the President headed by Christopher "Bong" Go.
Sec. Sueno thanked the DMCI for setting the ball rolling among the business leaders in actually helping the government in the construction of drug rehabilitation centers in various parts of the country.
"We have many lot donations for the drug rehab centers but the challenge for us is to put up the facility. So we are very much thankful to the DMCI for keeping their promise so we can provide facility for our drug surrenderers and make them ready to go back to the mainstream society," he said.
Mega rehab center in Nueva Ecija
DMCI's P23 million donation will be used to purchase materials to complete the ongoing construction of the mega rehab center in Nueva Ecija. This facility is expected to accommodate some 10,000 drug surrenderers when completed. Per President Rodrigo R. Duterte's directive, the facility is expected to be inaugurated by November 15 this year.
To fast track the facility's completion, Asec. Densing will provide DMCI with the complete list of the needed materials based on the standards from the Department of Health (DOH). Then DMCI will handle the purchase and delivery of these materials on site.
According to Usec. Castriciones, DMCI will have to coordinate closely with DOH since the facility will be owned by the said agency.
"The timely and prompt generosity and support by DMCI to the administration's projects is very much welcomed and hopefully replicated by other businesses in the country," Usec. Castriciones said.
He also stated that "The 2016 budget of the past administration does not include budgetary allocation for drug rehabilitation. Nevertheless, President Duterte has instructed all agencies led by the DILG to prioritize the implementation of these programs to help the victims of the drug syndicates."
Sec. Sueno added that there are already donated lots in Valencia City, Bukidnon, Bacolod, Negros, Nueva Viscaya, and Agusan del Sur which are ready for the additional construction of drug rehab centers.
However, the challenge for the national government is to source the funds for materials, equipment, and other needs in the construction process.
Livelihood for drug surrenderers
DMCI's large donation is just the start of the company's close collaboration with the government.
"After the mega rehab center in Nueva Ecija is completed, DMCI further assured its intent to fully support any livelihood projects to be undertaken to ensure that the drug surrenderers will continue to become productive members of the society," said Elepano.
Source: Philippine Information Agency