Some 13 Taipans to help DILG in constructing add’l drug rehab centers

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has announced that the government, through Secretary Ismael Sueno of the DILG and Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, will soon enter into an agreement between 13 business leaders that will further improve the newly organized integrated comprehensive drug rehabilitation program.

DILG Undersecretary for Operations Atty. John Castriciones said the development came following a recent meeting in Malacanang attended by DILG Secretary Ismael Sueno, three other Undersecretaries including him, two assistant secretaries of the Department, Cabinet Secretary Evasco and 13 businessmen.

"We will enter into some sort of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), as to what contributions they can make to the program or how they can participate in it. There were already initial discussions and some of them manifested that they would be willing to donate funds for the construction of the rehabilitation centers," Castriciones said.

He said the comprehensive rehabilitation programs plan to address the reformation and recovery of the 700, 000 surrenderors in President Duterte's anti-illegal drugs campaign.

The said program covers the construction of four additional rehabilitation centers nationwide. This includes the putting up of two rehabilitation facilities in Luzon, one in Visayas and another one in Mindanao. Each rehabilitation center can accommodate at least 500 drug surrenderors. Another proposal calls for the construction of one rehabilitation center for each region.

Meanwhile, based on the information provided by the Department of Health (DOH) and the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), 70,000 shall be committed to the government-run rehabilitation centers. The said figure is 10 percent of the 700,000 total surrenderors and they require more thorough and immediate care. The rest shall undergo the community-based rehabilitation.

"So at present, only 70,000 can be committed to the rehabilitation centers but the rest can already undergo what we call the Comprehensive Community-based rehabilitation kung saan sila po ay magiging parang outpatient," he said.

He explained that the surrenderors in the program, particularly in the rural areas, will be made to participate in tree-planting activities, help spearhead the green campaign of the government or join the livestock-raising scheme. Surrenderors in the urban areas will be involved in the cleanup drive of the 'esteros' or waterways and avail of the training for vocational skills in cooperation with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

The attendees in the meeting in Malacanang were Ronald Elepano, Jr., former vice president of DMCI Holdings, Inc; Ruperto Nicdao Jr., president, Manila Broadcasting Company; Renato Salud, senior vice president, JG Summit Holdings, Inc; Atty. Jason Bayan, also from JG Summit; Riikki Escudero-Catibog, executive vice president and chief operating officer, GMA Network, Inc; Jose Miguel Jimenez, PJ Lhuillier Group of Companies; Michael Toledo, senior vice president, PLDT; Annie Garcia, president, SM Supermalls; Ryan San Juan, vice president, SM Supermalls; Andrew Tan, president and chief executive officer, Megaworld Corporation; Kevin Tan, senior vice president, Megaworld Corporation; Erwin Go, senior vice president, Philippine National Bank; Manuel Bahena, senior vice president, Philippine National Bank; Ernesto Tanmantiong, chief executive officer, Jollibee Food Corporation; Carina Agarao, vice president, Jollibee Food Corporation; Roland Villareal, vice president, Rustan's Supercenters, Inc; Manuel Villar, chairman, Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc; and Ruel T. Maranan, president, Ayala Corporation - Ayala Foundation, Inc.

Source: Philippine Information Agency

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