Drug users in PHL drop to 1.67M from 4M, says drugs board exec

Special on Saturday host Cesar Chavez with guest Undersecretary Earl Saavedra, DDB executive director

MANILA—The number of illegal drug users all over the country has dropped to 1.67 million users from the baseline figure in 2016 at 4 million users, according to a top exec of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) on Saturday (November 21).

Undersecretary Earl Saavedra, DDB executive director, in an interview in DZRH Special On Saturday (SOS) program, highlighted the drop in the number of illegal drug users as indication of successful anti-drug campaign of the Duterte administration as the DDB celebrates its the 48th founding anniversary.

“Looking at the number since 2016, nagkaroon po tayo ng data gathering nasa four million ang drug users. Fast forward to 2019 and 2020 ang dinedekleyr na natin figure ay 1.67 million. Kasabay ng anniversary ng DDB, ipinagmamalaki po natin very successful po ang ating anti-drug campaign,” Saavedra concluded.

(Looking at the number since 2016, the data gathering showed four million users. Fast forward to 2019 and 2020 the declared figure is 1.67 million. Along with the anniversary of the DDB, we are proud our anti-drug campaign is very successful.)

He said the DDB’s survey shows high awareness and acceptance of the general public of the war on drugs of the Duterte administration, including its direction.

Saavedra said that under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act requires anti-drug strategy that must be reviewed every three years which is complied with the issuance of Executive Order No. 66.

“This will go beyond, 2022 because the goal is to institutionalize it, not just to implement the framework of action,” he said.

He said there is a need to balance between the law enforcement and supply reduction with demand reduction that focuses on the treatment and rehabilitation, reintegration and prevention education.

“Talagang whole government approach ang ginagawa natin para naman may ownership on the part of the people. Sa tingin naming, natarget at natumbok natin ito with the results of the survey kung saan meron talagang mataas na general acceptance sa ating anti-drug campaign,” he explains.

(It’s really a whole government approach on what we are doing so that people will have ownership of it. In our view, we targeted and nailed it with the results of the survey wherein there is really high acceptance of the people of the anti-drug campaign.)

Saavedra claimed that the participation of the private sector had been integral to the anti-drug campaign’s success.

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