Noting the recent statement of United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on the need for government to act on drug addiction, the Dangerous Drugs Board emphasizes its strategy to address the Philippines’ drug problem through a balanced and holistic approach.

DDB Chairman (Secretary) Catalino Cuy announced that his agency submitted the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy (PADS) which will serve as the framework of action in ensuring drug abuse prevention and control in line with the current priorities of the Duterte Administration. The said proposal is now at the Office of the President awaiting approval and possible issuance of an Executive Order.

“As emphasis is given to the supply reduction efforts including aggressive law enforcement to address the drug problem in the Philippines, we also highlight the importance of treatment and rehabilitation, reintegration and continuum of care for drug users. This concept is given importance through the “whole of nation” approach which we have continuously advocated”, Secretary Cuy said in a statement.

The Dangerous Drugs Board carries the Demand Reduction Pillar as an integral approach to curb the drug menace. Its intention is to take away people from using drugs through levels of prevention.

The first level of prevention involves programs for those who have not tried using drugs. These are drug free individuals and the goal is for them to maintain their healthy and drug free lifestyles. Secondary level of prevention intends to provide interventions to casual users. The priority is to prevent the progress of their addictive use by initiating early detection to provide intervention and prevent drug dependence. Tertiary level of prevention guarantees the provision of interventions for drug dependents in treatment and rehabilitation facilities. This also covers relapse prevention.

The anti-drug policies and priorities of the Philippine Government is responsive to the thrusts of the global community and responds directly to the UN Secretary General’s pronouncements. This is on top of the country’s adherence to the treaties and conventions prescribed by UN bodies such as the UNODC, UNCND, UNHRC, INCB among others.

Gaining Ground in the Global Platform

DDB is also set to represent the Philippines in the forthcoming ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters which will be held in Hanoi, Vietnam this week. Secretary Catalino Cuy will deliver a ministerial statement before ASEAN counterparts highlighting the Philippines’ gains on the campaign against illegal drugs.

This comes after the Philippines successful reelection bid in the UN Human Rights Council. DDB is one of the agencies which provided vital inputs and recommendations on anti-drug policies and priorities which firmed-up the Philippines’ defense to have its seat retained at the UNHRC.

“ASEAN has been a solid block in terms of addressing the global drug menace. The Philippines has always gained the support from ASEAN partners in advancing acceptable methods, frameworks and concepts in solving the drug problem. The exchange of best practices will usher in progress in advancing our anti-drug priorities. We learn from them and they also learn from us”, Secretary Cuy said in closing.