Press Release
August 18, 2016


Amidst the current administration's vigorous campaign against illegal drugs, Senator Sonny Angara has challenged local government units (LGUs) to take a more active role in eradicating the drug problem in the localities.

"Gusto nating malaman kung may sapat ba na kapasidad ang ating mga LGU sa pagsugpo ng krisis sa droga. LGU officials, local police, barangay officials serve as the country's first line of defense against drug menace," said Angara, chairman of the Senate local government committee.

"Sila kasi ang nakakaalam kung mayroong pusher na umiikot sa kanilang lokalidad. Sila rin ang nakakaalam kung sino ang mga adik na hindi nabibigyan ng kaukulang pagkalinga at rehabilitasyon," he added.

Under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, LGUs should appropriate a substantial portion of their respective annual budgets to assist in or enhance the enforcement of anti-drug policies, giving priority to preventive or educational programs and the rehabilitation or treatment of drug dependents.

Likewise, the Local Government Code gives sangguniang bayan, sangguniang panlungsod and sangguniang panlalawigan the power to enact ordinances intended to prevent, suppress and impose appropriate penalties for drug pushing and addiction, and maintenance of drug dens.

"We must ensure that LGUs will not put aside their crucial role in the enforcement of our drug laws, maintenance of peace and order, rehabilitation of drug dependents, and initiation of preventive and educational programs against drug abuse up to the barangay level," the senator said.

Based on the latest data to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), from June 30 to July 29 of this year, more than half a million or a total of 531,621 drug personalities (503,422 users and 28,199 pushers) have voluntarily surrendered throughout the country.

According to the Dangerous Drugs Board, the Department of Health (DOH) has accredited 15 government-owned and 27 non-government owned treatment and rehabilitation enters as of December 2015 with a capacity to treat approximately 5,000 patients only.

Of the nearly 600,000 drug surrenderees, the PDEA said nine percent of roughly 54,000 require confined rehab while the rest can go to program by the DOH.

Angara has filed Senate Resolution 104 to assess the existing anti-drug abuse policies, practices, programs and projects of LGUs, particularly the availability of funds and facilities; and the capability of local officials in planning, implementing, and enforcing these policies.

"The Congress should also look into the capacity of LGUs to implement long-term solutions, such as providing the drug users and dealers with livelihood opportunities," the lawmaker stressed.

News Latest News Feed