DDB backs review of anti-drugs law

October 05, 2019

THE Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) has vowed to support the  re-evaluation the efficiency of the law on dangerous drugs.

In a national summit spearheaded by the DDB in partnership with the Supreme Court and the Philippine Judicial Academy held at the Manila Hotel last Thursday, representatives of the executive, legislative and the judiciary convened and came out with recommendations to review provisions of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 which was crafted decades ago.

The relevant stakeholders signed a manifesto signifying their support to address the concerns in the implementation of RA 9165 in which DDB chairman Secretary Catalino Cuy readily expressed support for what had been agreed upon in the summit.

“RA 9165 was crafted decades ago. We have seen how drug peddlers create ways to evade authorities, and we cannot just let this happen. I guarantee the full support of the Board to address this issue, and we will continue to uphold the amendments as this could improve our approach on handling drug-related cases,” Cuy said.

Based on the recommendations, the DDB will prioritize the review and amendment of Board Regulation No. 2, Series of 2002, or the Conduct of Controlled Delivery Operations, to better respond to the operational needs of the law enforcers.

The DDB shall also consolidate and update existing policies, regulations and procedures in handling drug users or dependents who voluntarily surrender to the authorities, and to further study plea bargaining in cases not stated in the administrative circular, and submit its recommendation to the Supreme Court.

Aside from the DDB, other government agencies also committed to the implementation of recommendations in line with their respective mandates.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government, in coordination with the Department of Health and Dangerous Drugs Board, were advised to mandate all local government Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (ADACs) to provide both screening and drug dependency examinations subsumed under their primary health care programs.

Local government units were also called upon to activate their own Anti-Drug Abuse Offices, determine the appropriate budgetary allocation to implement drug prevention programs, and to have corresponding plantilla of personnel positions to operate the ADACs.

The summit underscored Executive Order No. 66, series of 2018, which institutionalized the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy.

All relevant government agencies involved in the implementation, administration, and enforcement of RA 9165 must operate under a “whole-of-government approach” in addressing the country’s drug problem, the summit participants agreed.