THE Duterte administration will avail from China a RMB100-million yuan grant to fund among others the establishment of drug rehabilitation facilities and the acquisition of law enforcement equipment, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said Sunday.

Dominguez, who led a two-day Philippine mission to China last January 23-24, said that of this RMB100-million yuan grant (equivalent to US$15 million), the Department of Health (DOH) has requested that half be used for building drug rehabilitation centers.

“During our meeting with Chinese Commerce Ministry officials, we noted the progress in our bilateral dialogue mechanisms and cooperation arrangements. We expect to see more bilateral consultations in the coming months,” he said.

“We have also confirmed our intention to avail of the RMB50 million-yuan grant for the provision of drug rehab facilities for the DOH during our meeting with China Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng,” he added.

The remaining half of the grant is intended to procure additional law enforcement equipment for the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency "to strengthen the government’s war against the drug scourge," Dominguez said.

Aside from the drug rehabilitation facilities, Dominguez said the Philippine delegation has also asked Chinese officials to consider supporting, through grant financing, the construction of health centers in rural areas, particularly in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

“The Chinese side has already began a preliminary feasibility study on the drug rehabilitation center and plans to send an expert team to the Philippines,” Dominguez said.

On behalf of the Philippine government, Dominguez signed three agreements with China during President Rodrigo Duterte’s state visit to the country last October.

These included an Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation that will provide Manila with a RMB100 million-yuan grant to implement projects for “anti-illegal drugs and law enforcement security cooperation.”

The other two are Memoranda of Understanding on providing financing support to the Philippines in undertaking feasibility studies for big-ticket projects in infrastructure, agriculture and rural development and on financing cooperation with the Export-Import Bank of China (China EXIM), which would allow the Philippines to tap China EXIM funds for its major projects. (SDR/SunStar Philippines)