MANILA - Months after a Chinese billionaire funded the construction of a "mega" drug rehabilitation facility in Luzon, another Chinese philanthropist has offered help in providing medical treatment to Filipino drug abusers.
Xu Ming Liang, a billionaire who is also known as Jose Kho in the Philippines, met with President Rodrigo Duterte at Malacañang Palace with a pledge to shoulder costs for building drug rehab centers in Visayas and Mindanao.
Photos shared by Malacañang showed the President studying the proposals from Kho.
Palace officials, however, have yet to confirm if the President has given the green light to the proposal and where the treatment facilities would be built.
Jose Kho, founder of the Friends of the Philippines Foundation, is a billionaire with real estate and tourism businesses in Xiamen, China.
Duterte in November led the inauguration of a 10,000-bed rehabilitation center funded by Chinese billionaire Huang Rulun.
About 700,000 addicts have registered with authorities amid Duterte's anti-illegal drug campaign but the Philippines has few facilities to treat them.
Data from the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group also showed that as of January 10, 2,877 drug-related fatalities were reported since May 10.
The government's anti-drug campaign has been criticized by human rights groups and international bodies, but Duterte dismissed these comments.
The President said the administration did not sanction extrajudicial killings and also reassured the public that the government is doing what it can to rehabilitate drug users who surrender to authorities.
-- With Dexter Ganibe, DZMM; Agence France-Presse