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Metro Pacific may also build drug rehab facility

THE METRO PACIFIC Group could be the next firm to build a drug rehabilitation facility after several conglomerates have committed to support the Duterte administration’s efforts to combat substance abuse in the country

“We’re looking at that [drug rehab centers] also. We’re also looking at that kasi (because) we’re not so familiar with rehab centers. So, we’re looking at that, how we can help the government,” Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said in a chance interview when asked if the conglomerate is also keen on building drug rehabilitation facilities for the government.

The Ayala Group — through Ayala Foundation, Inc. — on Tuesday announced it is building the first drug rehabilitation facility in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). It entered into a memorandum of agreement with Marawi City and ARMM to build the facility which will have 70 beds for in-patient treatment as well as accommodate drug dependents undergoing outpatient care.

Other companies have heeded the government’s call to help tackle drug addiction in the country. Listed conglomerate San Miguel Corp., for one, has committed to building a rehabilitation center in Bataan. Alliance Global Group, Inc. also pledged to build such facilities in the cities of Davao and Taguig.

Almost 700,000 drug users have surrendered since October, the government earlier reported. There are an estimated four million drug users in the country.

Currently, there are only 44-Department of Health accredited drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation centers in the country. Of the total, around 15 are government-owned and can only serve about 5,300 in-patients, which is insufficient to serve the growing number of drug users willing to undergo rehabilitation.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte earlier called on the private sector to help in government’s efforts to curb drug addiction in the country.



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