This study is a collaborative research between the DDB and the Philippine Normal University. It was conducted to determine the current nature and extent of drug abuse in the country.
The survey sampled a total of 10, 752 respondents ranging from ages 10 to 69 years old, identified through a proportional sampling. A total of 256 sites served as study areas. Multi-stage sampling technique was employed in selecting the study sites which included 17 regions, 43 provinces, 42 capitals, 86 municipalities/cities, 137 urban and 119 rural barangays. The data gathering was conducted from end of October 2012 to March 2013.
Based on the study, it was estimated that there could be 1.3 Million current drug users. The estimate was derived using the 2012 NSCB projected population of age 10-69 which is 72, 735, 094.
The collection of data was conducted through questionnaires and interviews with the implementers and from the selected lists of licensed stakeholders (importers, manufacturers, retailers and end users provided by PDEA in the following areas: Caloocan, Manila, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Muntinlupa, Marikina, Valenzuela, Pasig, Parañaque, Taguig, Cavite and Rizal. A total of two hundred sixty-one (261) respondents were interviewed.
Ninety-three percent (93%) of the respondents are aware that Toluene-Based Contact Cement is being abused.
Seventy-three percent (73%) of the implementers particularly PDEA are very much aware of the Policy on Toluene-Based Contact Cement. Twenty percent (20%), however of barangay officials are not aware of the policy, thirty percent (30%) are aware on some extent and half of the barangay officials interviewed have very limited awareness. Hence, barangay officials need to be informed and be educated with the said policy.
With the implementation of the policy, almost all of the respondents admitted that the quality of their finished products decreased and so is their profits/sales while the costs of their production increased.
The study also looked into the problems encountered by the implementers, as well as, stakeholders in the enforcement of the policy. Among the restraining factors mentioned were:
- Lack of knowledge on the part of barangay officials
- Lack of PDEA manpower to regularly monitor its implementation
- Financial constraints of PDEA
- Limited and poor information drive
- Additional cost to the legitimate industry
- Poor or low quality of the finished product produced
- Decrease in profit and sales of the industry
- Short shelf-life of the toluene-based contact cement with at least 5% mustard oil
- Potential health hazard to the production workers
Findings have shown a decrease in the trend of abuse on toluene-based contact cement. However, inhalant abusers resorted to roof sealant as evidenced by the reports of the increase in its use.
Among the recommendations are the need to review some misleading provisions of the regulation and/or lessen if not replaced the mustard oil concentrations in toluene-based contact cement products manufactured, information dissemination to better understand the policy especially to the local officials who enforce the law and all concerned stakeholders, including production workers and to address the other emerging issues relating to the policy.