The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) held its 179th Regular Meeting last Wednesday, April 4. Being the 1st meeting for the second quarter of the year, the agenda included the agency’s priorities, accomplishments and ways forward.

In his opening remarks, DDB Chairman and Secretary Catalino Cuy reaffirmed the agency’s commitment in stamping out the abuse of illegal drugs. “For the 2nd quarter of the year, we hope to duplicate and surpass our accomplishments,” he said.

Undersecretary Earl P. Saavedra, DDB Executive Director, reported the highlights of the agency’s accomplishments for the 1st quarter of the year. He mentioned the implementation of international commitments, issuance of 63 Board Regulations and Policies, and conduct of capacity building programs benefitting 892 individuals across the country.

Meanwhile, the Board was also updated on the assistance to drug demand reduction programs from the Embassy of the United States of America, Office of the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), amounting to 2 Million US Dollars.  Initially, the assistance will be used to fund activities such as the National Youth Congress on Drug Abuse Prevention, The National/Regional Training of Trainers on the Universal Prevention Curriculum, The Faith-Based Programs on Drug Abuse Prevention Education, and the National Training of Trainers for Urban Poor Area Coordinators.

Member agencies were also encouraged to submit proposals to maximize the assistance provided by the US-INL.

Also discussed and agreed upon by the members is the inclusion and reclassification of eight substances listed by the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board (UN-INCB) in the list of dangerous drugs. Substances classified in the list of dangerous drugs are 5F-APINACA (5F-AKB-48), Ethylone, Ethylphenidate, MDMB-CHMICA, Methiopropamine (MPA), 4-methylethcathinone (4-MEC), Pentedrone, and XLR-1.

RA 9165, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, authorizes the DDB to reclassify, add to or remove from the list of Dangerous Drugs.

Composed of 17 members, the Board meets periodically to discuss and review the national drug abuse situation and develop and strengthen the strategies and programs to address the drug problem.