San Miguel to donate P1B for drug rehab centers

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is donating P1 billion to the government to build new drug rehabilitation facilities, in support of President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.

"In the fight against illegal drugs, rehabilitation is crucial to providing drug dependents a chance at restoring their lives and becoming part of the solution to a better Philippines," San Miguel president and COO Ramon Ang said in a statement on Thursday, August 11.

This is the second time San Miguel is allotting a significant amount for a social cause, following the P1 billion it spent from 2012 to 2014 to build new houses for typhoon survivors.

San Miguel said it conducted initial talks with Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa to discuss the initiative. (LOOK: Davao City’s rehab centers for drug addicts, youth offenders)

In the last 8 years, San Miguel said it has diversified from its traditional food, beverage, and packaging businesses to industries key to national development. These include infrastructure, power generation, and oil refining and marketing.

San Miguel's Ang said that the private sector could have a huge impact on government's efforts when corporate social responsibility objectives are aligned with government initiatives.

"By supporting government in this endeavor, we are helping create an environment that will enable various sectors of our society to participate in and contribute to our country's growth," Ang said. (READ: PNP to Makati, BGC bars: Cooperate or we'll do it our way)

Ongpin plans to help, too

Meanwhile, Roberto Ongpin, former chairman of PhilWeb Corporation, said the firm is planning to spend between *P2 million and P3 million a month to help the government address the lack of drug rehabilitation centers

This is despite Duterte publicly naming him as one of the "oligarchs" he wants to destroy.

"I'm still very optimistic about this administration. And I'll continue what I'm doing," Ongpin said in an emergency stockholders' meeting in Makati City on Wednesday, August 10.

Duterte had said that he plans to use military camps and facilities as a "stop gap measure" until the government can build dedicated centers all over the country. (READ: Duterte plan to use AFP camps for drug rehab gains support– Rappler.com

*Editor's Note: The previous story said PhilWeb is planning to spend P2 billion to P3 billion a month. It should be P2 million to P3 million. The story has been corrected.