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Japan donates P826 M for Philippine drug rehabilitation

The Japanese government yesterday donated some 1.85 billion yen (P826 million) to the Department of Health for the upgrading of rehabilitation centers and enhancement of treatment protocols for drug dependents. AP/Aaron Favila, file

MANILA, Philippines - The Japanese government yesterday donated some 1.85 billion yen (P826 million) to the Department of Health (DOH) for the upgrading of rehabilitation centers and enhancement of treatment protocols for drug dependents. 

An agreement signed by Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial and Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) chief representative Susumo Ito formalized collaboration of the two countries to build a drug-free society under the Consolidated Rehabilitation on Illegal Drug Users (CARE) program.

Susumo said JICA recognizes the role of international cooperation in spreading a common message to all to be more vigilant in the campaign and effort to curb illegal drug use.

“We stand together with DOH in enhancing rehabilitation and treatment protocols. And with these interventions, we hope that the program can contribute in reducing relapse risk and eventually integrate them back into the communities,” he added.

JICA said the program is aligned with the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.

“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 Ito. “Through this development cooperation, we aim to help provide rehabilitation support for drug dependents.” 

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There are currently 44 DOH-accredited treatment and rehabilitation centers for drug dependents in the country. 

JICA is Japan’s comprehensive development institution that handles technical cooperation, ODA loans, investment and grant aid, as well as cooperation volunteers and disaster relief programs. 

The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) said yesterday that of the estimated four million drug users in the country, only 1.6 million have surrendered as of February,

DDB chairman Benjamin Reyes said they are looking at the participation of the community to reach out to the rest of the four million drug dependents so they could be covered by the rehabilitation program of the government. – With Czeriza Valencia

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