The Dangerous Drugs Board welcomes the issuance of the Executive Order institutionalizing the implementation of the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy or the PADS. The policy directive was signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on 29 October 2018.

The agency labelled such action as a positive development and a leap towards securing communities from the menace of illegal drugs.

EO 66 directs all government offices, departments, bureaus, agencies including GOCCs and SUCs, to implement the PADS in accordance with their respective mandates.

Even before the signing of the milestone document, DDB has been proactive in consulting with key agencies in line with its intention to shepherd the creation of the National Anti-Drug Plan of Action (NADPA) that is realistic and sustainable. PADS is the more comprehensive version of the NADPA because it is anchored on the Social Development Agenda and the National Security Policy of the Duterte Administration.

PADS also carries with it the commitment that all efforts in addressing the drug problem is balanced and holistic. It will converge duty bearers and stakeholders in attaining the vision of having drug-free communities by the year 2022.

DDB Chairman Catalino S. Cuy assures the readiness of the government to activate mechanisms for the full implementation of the EO. This includes the setting of benchmarks and indicators and reviewing policies that will respond to the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 or RA 9165.

To effectively rollout this policy issuance, DDB will meet with the members of the Board to review the functions of the key government agencies and align them with the priority thrusts in the blueprint. It will also design a communication plan to help the public understand the government ‘s strategies on drug abuse prevention and control.

Acknowledging the complexity of the drug problem, DDB intends to solidify actions related to demand reduction, supply reduction, treatment, rehabilitation and reintegration, civic awareness and response including regional and international cooperation.

It also looks forward to receiving the anti-drug implementation and operational plans of all government instrumentalities. Emphasis is made on the formulation and adoption of Drug-Free Workplace Policies and Programs that will prescribe the conduct of authorized drug testing by all government entities and Local Government Units (LGUs).

Early this year, it is recalled that the Board adopted a Regulation imposing the sanction of dismissal for government officials and employees who are found positive for drug use after the confirmatory testing. With the EO on PADS, this will be properly institutionalized in the bureaucracy.

“The President has given us the direction. As we propel all these priorities, we embrace the perspective that our approaches must be needs-based and evidence-based in order to see best results as the PADS is being implemented,” Chairman Cuy said.

“It is our fervent hope that PADS will lay down the foundation of creating drug-free communities considering that our commitment extends beyond 2022. EO 66 is an essential tool in gaining advantage and positive breakthrough in addressing the drug problem that beset our society,” he further explained.