As the policy-making and strategy-formulating body on drug prevention and control, the Dangerous Drugs Board reiterates that the Philippines remains committed to the implementation of the three International Drug Control Conventions being one of its signatories. These are the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
More than just a matter of compliance, the Philippines continues to abide and implement its commitments to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) by submitting required reports and documentation that validate the country’s adherence to drug control issuances. These reports are on scheduling of drugs, medical and scientific use of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals, and prevention of diversion from the licit to the illicit market.
While recommendations of the INCB on the global drug situation are welcomed by governments, in the case of the Philippines, the DDB believes that it would be most beneficial if the organization remains within its mandate of ensuring adequate supply and availability of dangerous drugs with legitimate use, monitoring of measures taken by governments to prevent diversion of substances, and assisting governments to comply with their obligations under the international drug control conventions.
Designated by the Office of the President as the focal agency on matters concerning the INCB, the DDB reiterates that no policies have been issued that permit, tolerate, and condone killings and other human rights violations in relation to the Philippine’s anti-drug campaign. Time and again, the DDB has openly presented the Philippine Government’s plan of action to address the national drug abuse situation. Governed by the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy or PADS, all agencies of the government have been directed to implement initiatives to cut the supply of and demand for drugs using a “balanced approach”. As supply reduction measures are intensified, demand reduction initiatives focusing on rehabilitation, reintegration, preventive education and advocacy are given priority. In other words, a whole-of-nation approach is undertaken that unites, balances, and strengthens complementing law enforcement and public health strategies. Programs are grounded on evidence-based approaches and culturally-relevant models that adhere to the rule of law, respect human rights, and support international obligations.
The DDB has been in a constant dialogue with INCB and has expressed openness to a visit by experts from the body to officially assess the country’s anti-drug campaign. Its only request is that the INCB upholds an impartial stance and refrain from considering sources that have not been vetted or validated by its Member-States.