The Dangerous Drugs Board, in partnership with the Supreme Court and Philippine Judicial Academy convened representatives of the executive, legislative and the judiciary for a National Summit on Dangerous Drugs Law last Thursday, October 3, at the Manila Hotel.

A manifesto was signed by relevant stakeholders to signify their support in the execution of recommendations to address the concerns in the implementation of RA 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

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Representatives from concerned agencies signed a manifesto to signify their support in the implementation of recommendations presented during the National Drugs Summit.

Dangerous Drugs Board Chairman (Secretary) Catalino Cuy, pledged to support the recommendations to re-evaluate the efficiency of the law, “RA 9165 was crafted decades ago. We have seen how drug peddlers create ways to evade authorities, and we cannot just let this happen. I guarantee the full support of the Board to address this issue, and we will continue to uphold the amendments as this could improve our approach on handling drug-related cases.”

Based on the recommendations, the DDB will prioritize the review and amendment of Board Regulation No. 2, Series of 2002, or the Conduct of Controlled Delivery Operations, to better respond to the operational needs of the law enforcement.

Further, the DDB shall also consolidate and update existing policies, regulations and procedures in handling drug users or dependents who voluntarily surrender to the authorities, and to further study plea bargaining in cases not stated in the administrative circular, and submit its recommendation to the Supreme Court.

Other agencies also committed to the implementation of recommendations in line with their respective mandates.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government, in coordination with the Department of Health and Dangerous Drugs Board, were advised to mandate all local government Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (ADACs) to provide both screening and drug dependency examinations subsumed under their primary health care programs.

Local government units were also recommended to activate their own Anti-Drug Abuse Offices, determine the appropriate budgetary allocation to implement drug prevention programs, and to have corresponding plantilla of personnel positions to operate the ADACs.

The summit also underscored Executive Order No. 66, series of 2018, which institutionalized the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy. All relevant government agencies involved in the implementation, administration, and enforcement of RA 9165 must operate under a “whole-of-government approach” in addressing the country’s drug problem.

The recommendations presented were the product of workshops and conferences attended by stakeholders from the three branches of government, executive, legislative and the judiciary.

These workshops are part of the efforts of the Dangerous Drugs Board to strengthen anti-drug operations, prosecution, and judicial mechanisms.

DDB in partnership with the Philippine Judicial Academy gathers members of the criminal justice system every quarter to discuss issues on the dangerous drugs law. Later this October, the Seminar Workshop on Dangerous Drugs Law for Judges, Prosecutors and Law Enforcers of the Ninth Region will be conducted in Zamboanga City.