Japan-funded drug facility to rise in Cavite

Published July 19, 2018, 3:51 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Roy Mabasa

The Philippines will soon start the construction of an estimated P877 million Japanese-funded drug treatment facility in Trece Martires City aimed to provide rehabilitation and reintegration support to drug dependents in the country.


According to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the construction of the treatment and rehabilitation center (TRC) is a component of a JPY 1.85 billion grant program with the Department of Health (DOH) called Consolidated Rehabilitation of Illegal Drug Users (CARE).

JICA said the bilateral project aims to improve DOH’s operational and service standards for recovering drug dependents and develop information materials on preventive education and awareness against illegal drugs.

“Through this TRC, we’d like to support DOH’s efforts in rehabilitating drug dependents and integrating them back to society,” JICA Chief Representative Yoshio Wada during the recent groundbreaking ceremony.

In a joint JICA-DOH preliminary study on illicit drug users in the Philippines, it showed that of the nearly 3,000 recovering drug users admitted to TRCs or those who surrendered, 38% of those surveyed have zero or less than one thousand pesos income.

Citing Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) data, JICA also noted that majority of drug dependents in the Philippines (53%) are unemployed.

The TRC will be constructed in a 5-hectare land donated by the Provincial Government of Cavite and is proposed to have a 500-bed capacity.

There are at least 53 DOH-accredited treatment and rehabilitation centers throughout the country.

To complement CARE, JICA said it is implementing a technical cooperation with DOH called Introducing Evidence-based Relapse Prevention Program to Drug Dependence Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers (IntERlaPP).

The technical cooperation aims to establish an evidence-based relapse prevention model to strengthen the capacity of Filipino health providers on drug dependence treatment.

A team of DOH doctors, Japanese experts, and project team members went to the United States to study the Matrix Model, an intensive outpatient addiction treatment modality, and how it can be applied to the Philippines.

The model focuses on the cognitive behavioral change of drug patients by keeping them busy with productive activities and constantly engaging their family for support.

Only this month, officials of DOH and selected DOH-retained TRCs visited Japan to observe its treatment and rehabilitation protocols for drug dependents.

More than 4,200 suspected drug users and pushers were left dead, and almost 145,000 others arrested only in the span of two years under the Duterte administration’s war on drugs campaign.