PRRD institutionalizes PH’s anti-illegal drugs strategy

By Jelly Musico

October 31, 2018, 9:22 pm

MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte has issued an executive order institutionalizing the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy (PADS) which outlines balanced efforts of the government to boost its campaign against illegal drugs.

Under Executive Order No. 66 signed on Oct. 29, Duterte directed all government departments and offices, including government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) and state universities and colleges (SUCs) to implement PADS.

In line with their mandates, the government departments and agencies, including GOCCs and SUCs, are directed to formulate their respective implementing and operational plans relative to the PADS and submit them to Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) within 60 days.

The local government units (LGUs) are “encouraged” to support and implement the PADS.

Non-government organizations, civil society groups and private institutions are also urged to actively support PADS’ projects and programs.

Duterte directed the government entities as well as LGUs to formulate and adopt their drug-free workplace programs and conduct “authorized” drug testing among their respective officials and personnel.

On the other hand, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has been instructed to ensure the formulation and implementation of the programs.

Aside from formulating their own plans, the LGUs are encouraged to establish anti-drug abuse councils and implement PADS and barangay drug clearing operations in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Philippine National Police.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government shall monitor the implementation of PADS at the LGUs’ level.

According to EO 66, the DDB and Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) shall conduct a nationwide survey every three years to determine drug abuse prevalence in the country.

The DDB formulated the PADS to update and develop the existing National Anti-Drug Plan of Action 2015-2020 as part of the country’s contribution to international efforts to combat worldwide illegal drug problem.

The 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action adopted by the United Nations (UN) Commission on Narcotic Drugs provides that UN member states are fully aware the drug problem “requires effective and increased international cooperation”. (PNA)