The Dangerous Drugs Board welcomes the approval of the amendments to the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, on third and final reading, at the House of Representatives.

Aimed at strengthening drug prevention and control, this is also seen to institutionalize plans and programs under the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy (PADS) which was approved for implementation by President Rodrigo Duterte through Executive Order No. 66, Series of 2018.

Aside from the amendment of provisions that will help in the successful prosecution of drug perpetrators, the DDB is pleased to note that the proposals it has lobbied for inclusion in the Bill was carried.

Section 23 of the Bill provides that Local Government Units (LGUs) shall appropriate a substantial portion of not less than two percent (2%) of their respective annual budgets to support local anti-drug abuse councils and establish anti-drug abuse offices.

It can be recalled that LGUs are tasked under EO No. 66, S 2018 to formulate operational plans and to undertake both drug supply and demand reduction programs in their respective localities. The provision of minimum allocation allows proper funding of anti-drug programs and activities at the LGU level.

Section 25 of the Bill further strengthens the government’s holistic approach in curbing the illegal drug menace as it provides for the inclusion of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Transportation (DOTR), and the Executive Director of the DDB as members of the Board.

Moreover, Section 27 of the Bill provides for the reorganization of the Board Secretariat through the elevation of the existing division-level offices into service-level units.

The DDB hopes that the Upper House will also carry these amendments in their version of the Bill and that this be successfully passed into a law.