MANILA President Rodrigo R. Duterte has directed the entire government to take an active role in the administration's war against drugs more than a week after the chief executive bared his plan in a lecture at MalacaAang.
Under Memorandum Circular No. 53, Duterte directed all government offices, agencies, and instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs) and state universities and colleges (SUCs) to take an active role in the anti-illegal drugs campaign.
The memorandum was signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea by authority of the President on Nov. 12 but released to media on Monday.
"It is hereby directed that all government offices, agencies, and instrumentalities, including GOCCs and SUCs, to immediately mobilize their assets and take an active role in the government's anti-illegal drugs campaign, in accordance with their respective mandates, the memorandum read.
The memorandum added that the drug problem continues to degrade the moral fiber of society undermining the rule of law and has evolved as a national security problem.
It also recognized the policy of the State to pursue an effective campaign against trafficking and use of dangerous drugs through an integrated system of planning, implementation and enforcement of anti-illegal drug abuse policies, programs, and projects.
At present, the main government agencies at the forefront of the crackdown against illegal drugs are the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) among other concerned agencies.
The DDB was established under Republic Act 9165, otherwise known as "The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002", as the policy-making and strategy-formulating body in the planning and formulation of policies and programs on drug prevention and control.
The PDEA was created pursuant to RA 9165 to be responsible for the efficient and effective law enforcement of all the relevant provisions on dangerous drugs and/or controlled precursors and essential chemicals, including the implementation of the national drug control strategy formulated by the DBB.
Last year, Duterte issued Executive Order No. 15, creating the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) and the National Anti-Illegal Drug Task Force to address the drug problem in the country
Section 4 of EO No. 15 provides the National Anti-Illegal Drug Task Force composed of members of law enforcement agencies, including members of the institutions called upon for assistance, shall undertake sustained anti-illegal drug operations.
Executive Order No. 66, meanwhile, institutionalized the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy (PADS) by directing all government offices, including GOCCs, and SUCs to implement the PADS in accordance with their respective mandates.
Earlier, Duterte said he also plans to create an anti-illegal drug task force after some PHP6.8 billion worth of shabu slipped past the Bureau of Customs last August. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency