DDB: 4 to 5 mil­lion Filipinos in drugs

Sun Star Bacolod - - Top Stories - BY GLAZYL Y. MASCULINO

WHILE the gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues their fight against il­le­gal drugs, four to five mil­lion Filipinos are still in­volved in the il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity.

Catal­ino Cuy, chair­man of the Dan­ger­ous Drugs Board (DDB), led the pro­vin­cial drug sum­mit at the L’ Fisher Ho­tel in Ba­colod City yes­ter­day.

He said the fig­ure is com­posed of users and push­ers.

Cuy said it was just a “con­ser­va­tive es­ti­mate” be­cause they have dif­fi­culty in de­ter­min­ing the ex­act fig­ure.

De­spite the 1.3 mil­lion Filipinos who sur­ren­dered to the au­thor­i­ties, the war against il­le­gal drugs con­tin­ues, Cuy said.

“We have suc­cesses and lapses. It is a long fight. It will be chal­leng­ing for us,” he added.

Cuy said they are eye­ing to have drug-free com­mu­ni­ties by 2022 but they will also need the co­op­er­a­tion of the pub­lic.

He said Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte signed Ex­ec­u­tive Or­der (EO) 66 on Oc­to­ber 29 which in­sti­tu­tion­al­izes the Philip­pine Anti-drug Strat­egy (Pads).

The or­der di­rected all gov­ern­ment of­fices, de­part­ment bu­reaus, agen­cies, and of­fices, in­clud­ing gov­ern­ment-owned or con­trolled cor­po­ra­tions (GOCCS) and state uni­ver­si­ties and col­leges (SUCS) to im­ple­ment the Pads, in ac­cor­dance with their re­spec­tive man­dates.

“Within the first quar­ter of next year, we should be in full gear in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of EO 66,” Cuy said.

The or­der was fol­lowed by a Mem­o­ran­dum Cir­cu­lar 53 re­cently signed by Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary Sal­vador Me­di­aldea, or­der­ing all gov­ern­ment en­ti­ties to be “ac­tive in the anti-il­le­gal drug ac­tiv­i­ties.”

Cuy said he con­sid­ered it a good de­vel­op­ment in the cam­paign against il­le­gal drugs.

“It will be a re­newed en­ergy es­pe­cially in the de­mand and sup­ply re­duc­tion of drugs in the coun­try,” he added.

Mean­while, about 50 gov­ern­ment agen­cies met in Manila on Tues­day to dis­cuss the pa­ram­e­ters of Pads so they can mea­sure if they are win­ning or los­ing the drug war.

One of Duterte’s cam­paign prom­ises was to solve il­le­gal drugs.*

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