MANILA, May 12 -- The government will provide a weekly update on the progress of the Duterte administration’s campaign against illicit drugs.
Government agencies involved in the anti-illegal drug campaign presented comprehensive reports and "real figures" on the gravity of the country's drug problem during the #RealNumbers forum held last May 2 in Quezon City.
These agencies include the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).
PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar said the forum clarified figures behind the Duterte administration's war on drugs which has become a national security threat and public health concern.
As a result of the intensified anti-illegal drugs campaign, the police reported a 28.57 percent decrease in crime volume all over the country with the public feeling more safe even at night in their communities.
During the forum, the Philippine Drug Enforcement agency (PDEA) reported that more than four million drug users has made the illegal drugs trade a PHP120-billion industry. PDEA Director General Isidro Lapena said the problem has become a threat to national security and this could turn the Philippines into a narco state if left unchallenged and unaddressed.
The problem also has become a public health concern with the surrender of some 1.2 million users and drug peddlers. Government is now establishing more drug rehabilitation centers for in-house therapy and rehabilitation of drug dependents who are themselves victims of the illegal drugs trade.
During the forum, Andanar said reforms should be implemented to ensure that those involved in illegal activities would be removed from office and ensure the PNP “is rid of scalawags and corrupt elements.”
“We embarked on this as a nation at great cost and this is why it's critical to move forward with a mindset of change. We need to have a roadmap that will effectively ensure our victory in this war," Andanar said. (PNA)