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The Dangerous Drugs Board is ready to undertake a scientific study to determine the real nature and extent of the country’s problem on illegal drugs.

This was assured by Secretary Catalino S. Cuy, DDB Chairperson, amid the calls for evidence-based indicators of the success of the anti-drug campaign.

He also clarified that the study will entail the conduct of a census instead of a survey to provide a real picture of the drug situation. Reports from all law enforcement agencies and intelligence information will also be included and integrated in the data analysis.

“There were previous studies with similar intentions but the results of which did not include data from law enforcement agencies. This time, we will make sure that these will be included and integrated in analyzing data and coming up with statistical figures,” he explained.

He also added that the leadership of the DDB intends to do a census instead of a survey which is usually perception-based. “What we want is an actual census to provide the real picture of the drug situation in the country,” Secretary Cuy said.

The census, according to the DDB, will be undertaken with the help of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). “The DDB and the PSA have started the talks for the conduct of this activity,” Secretary Cuy shared.

The DDB also thanked the Office of the President and the Senate for upholding the DDB’s mandate to conduct studies to determine the nature and extent of the drug problem. According to Secretary Cuy, this was reiterated in Executive Order No. 66 signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in October 2018, institutionalizing the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drug Strategy.

Section 7 of EO 66, Series of 2018 mandates the conduct of a nationwide survey to determine drug abuse prevalence in the country. It also directed the PSA to provide full technical assistance to the DDB.

The DDB is also grateful to Senator Panfilo Lacson who proposed for the inclusion of an additional 70 Million in the 2019 budget of the DDB for the conduct of the study.

Once the 2019 General Appropriations Act is signed, the budget will be made available for the roll-out of the research initiative. A technical working group involving experts from the PSA will be formed to discuss the methodology, framework and the context of the initiative to be undertaken.