PH committed to address illegal drugs problem: PCOO exec

Published March 19, 2019, 11:49 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Philippine News Agency

MANILA — The Philippine government is committed to addressing the illegal drug problem in the country, an official of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) told members of the international community.

“This is an appropriate avenue for us to explain to our partners in the international community that the Philippine government is wholly committed in addressing the illegal drugs problem in the country,” PCOO Assistant Secretary Ramon Cualoping III said in a statement during the opening of the exhibit on the Philippine Anti-Drugs Strategy at the 62nd Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) held in Vienna, Austria on March 14.

Cualoping said the anti-illegal drug campaign of the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte is a long-term investment for the country.

“We must bear in mind that the illegal drug problem is a familial and societal problem, and that these efforts are investments for the future in ensuring a comfortable life for every Filipino,” he said.

The Philippine delegation to Vienna articulated the comprehensive, balanced and holistic approach in addressing the Philippines’ drug problem.

Using the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy (PADS) as the overarching framework of action, the delegation emphasized the Philippines’ commitment to address the demand for and supply of dangerous drugs as a global plan of action and a shared responsibility under the concept of the whole of nation approach.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. delivered the Philippine national statement at the Ministerial Segment of the event.

Locsin emphasized the Philippines’ zero-tolerance policy and the whole of nation approach against illegal drugs, noting the gains achieved by the country, thus far, in such fight.

Locsin cited the more than 1.4 million Filipino drug users who have voluntarily presented themselves for rehabilitation and the corresponding 30 percent decline in the nation’s crime rate as a result of the Philippines’ sustained and relentless war against illegal drug campaign.