The Growing Threat of Illegal Drugs

Categories: Drug TraffickingDrugs

The illegal drugs problem in the country is real and pervasive. It is undermining the moral fabric of our society and is victimizing almost everyone, including even young children in the grade schools. It has become a threat to national security. The national drug strategy which is primarily focused on "demand and supply reduction" appears to be working ineffectively. On the contrary, the demand for illegal drugs continues to increase.

To make things worse, there seems to be always an abundant supply of prohibited drugs despite the government's vigorous efforts to stamp it out.

Methamphetamine Hydrochloride, locally known as shabu, for example, which was first detected in the Philippines in the early eighties, has gained tremendous popularity. It now ranks as the primary choice among drug abusers nationwide.

A qualified information from the Philippine National Police considers the Philippines, primarily due to its strategic location, as a key transshipment point for illicit drugs from a source country to other parts of the world.

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Its vantage location relative to other countries in the Asia-Pacific region makes it a convenient passageway. The long and irregular coastline of the more than 7,000 islands comprising the archipelago provides convenient smuggling routes. For the past decade, the trend in the abuse of illicit drugs has increased dramatically.

Well-organized and well-financed criminal organizations run their illicit drug trafficking syndicates with even greater skills and sophistication. There are presently three (3) known international drug syndicates operating in the Philippines: one traffics shabu into the country, another uses the country as a transshipment point for heroin to the USA and other countries; and the third smuggles cannabis/marijuana out of the country to Japan, USA, New Zealand and Australia.

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This alarming drug situation calls no less than a more serious and focused efforts from the government which could be accomplished through the establishment of an agency manned by competent personnel and dedicated solely for the efficient and effective implementation and enforcement of all laws on prohibited and regulated drugs and other controlled substances. This proposed bill hopes to attain this noble objective.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) (Filipino: Kawanihan ng Pilipinas Laban sa Droga) is the lead anti-drugs law enforcement agency, responsible for preventing, investigating and combating any dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals within the Philippines. The agency is tasked with the enforcement of the penal and regulatory provisions of Republic ActNo. 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. PDEA is the implementing arm of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB).

The DDB is the policy-making and strategy-formulating body in the planning and formulation of policies and programs on drug prevention and control. PDEA and DDB are both under the supervision of the Office of the President. For thirty years, the Republic Act No. 6425, or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, had been the backbone of the drug law enforcement system in the Philippines. Despite the efforts of various law enforcement agencies mandated to implement the law, the drug problem alarmingly escalated.

The high profitability of the illegal drug trade, compounded by the then existing laws that imposed relatively light penalties to offenders, greatly contributed to the gravity of the problem. Recognizing the need to further strengthen existing laws governing Philippine drug law enforcement system, the then Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed the Republic Act No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, on June 7, 2002 and it took effect on July 4, 2002. The Republic Act No. 165 defines more concrete courses of action for the national anti-drug campaign and imposes heavier penalties to offenders.

The enactment of Republic Act 9165 reorganized the Philippine drug law enforcement system. While the Dangerous Drugs Board remains as the policy-making and strategy-formulating body in planning and formulation of policies and program on drug control and prevention, it created the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency under the Office of the President. The new law abolished the National Drug Law Enforcement and Prevention Coordinating Center, which was created under Executive Order No. 1; and the Narcotics Group of Philippine National Police (PNP-NG), Narcotics Division of National Bureau of Investigation (NBI-ND), and the Customs Narcotics Interdiction Unit of the Bureau of Customs (BOC-CNIU).

However, these law enforcement agencies have organized the following anti-illegal drugs task force to support the PDEA: Philippine National Police - Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operation Task Force (PNP-AIDSOTF); National Bureau of Investigation - Anti-Illegal Drugs Task Force (NBI-AIDTF); and Bureau of Customs - Customs Task Group/Force in Dangerous Drugs and Controlled Chemicals (BOC-CTGFDDCC).

Updated: Mar 22, 2023
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The Growing Threat of Illegal Drugs. (2017, Feb 03). Retrieved from

The Growing Threat of Illegal Drugs essay
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