â5 millions Filipinos still involved  in illegal drugsâ

‘5 millions Filipinos still involved in illegal drugs’

Gilbert Bayoran (The Philippine Star) - November 30, 2018 - 12:00am

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines  —  Dangerous Drugs Board chairman Catalino Cuy admitted on Wednesday that the all-out war of President Duterte against illegal drugs for almost three years now appears to have little or no effect, since about four to five million Filipinos are still involved in illegal drugs.

Cuy, who spoke at the Provincial Anti-Drug Summit organized by the Liga ng Barangay-Negros Occidental chapter the other day, explained that the four to five-million individuals who are involved in illegal drugs, either as users or peddlers, was a conservative estimate and authorities are having a hard time determining how many are actually involved in illegal drugs.

Cuy said about 1.3 million have surrendered through the Oplan Tokhang campaign of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The PNP also reported that almost 5,000 persons linked to illegal drugs have died in what it called legitimate police operations.

Cuy said the government is focusing on the reduction of demand and supply, which is being highlighted in the media, and “where the action is, as it involves operations and enforcement.”

What people do not see is the demand reduction that involves rehabilitation, reintegration, international and regional cooperation, public awareness and alternative livelihood, said Cuy, who also lauded the efforts of the provincial government of Negros Occidental in helping rehabilitate drug dependents who have surrendered.

Starting next year, Cuy said the government will implement a revitalized anti-drug campaign. 

“The war against illegal drugs continues. We have successes and lapses. It is a long and challenging fight,” Cuy pointed out.

On Oct. 29, President Duterte signed Executive Order 66 institutionalizing the Philippine Anti-Drug Strategy (PADS), which was supported by a Memorandum Circular signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea requiring all government entities to be “active in the anti-illegal drug activities.”

“This is a good development in the campaign against illegal drugs. It will have a renewed energy, especially in the demand and supply and reduction,” Cuy said.  

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