The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Mimaropa is positive that it can attain its goal to make Mimaropa the first region in the country to be drug-free region by 2022.
PDEA Mimaropa Regional Director Mario D. Ramos assured this aim of being drug-free if all will join in the massive campaign of the government against the proliferation of illegal drugs regionwide during the recent Regional Interagency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) Coordinating Group and Regional Oversight Committees on Balay Silangan, Barangay and Jail Drug Clearing Operations Joint Meeting held at the Provincial Capitol.
Ramos said strengthening the three-pronged anti-drug approaches, namely supply reduction, demand reduction and harm reduction would make the realization of the region’s free from illegal drugs.
Steadfast and conscientious, Ramos pointed out that PDEA is immediately adopting these approaches in addressing the drug problem in the country.
“Cognizant of the fast-changing landscape of the drug problem, the anti-drug efforts and initiatives of PDEA, being the lead agency in the campaign, has seemingly not made impact due to the same prevailing drug situation,” Ramos explained.
In his statement, Ramos discussed each approach to address the drug problem in order to achieve maximum impact that would be felt by citizenry.
First among the three is Supply Reduction Approach. Here, Ramos emphasized that this approach generally involved disrupting the manufacturing and distribution supply chain of dangerous drugs through law enforcement. This covers reducing the illicit supply of drugs, enhancing local and international cooperation, addressing new trafficking trends, strengthening anti-corruption measures, targeting clandestine manufacture of drugs, controlling delivery, promoting judicial cooperation, among others.
Second approach is the demand reduction that reduces or prevents people from wanting to and taking illicit drugs. With this approach, Ramos explained the activities they do in the demand reduction.
“Alongside supply reduction efforts, our agency ensures within our capabilities and authority to carry out the provision of education and information to public to enable them to make informed decisions about drugs. Likewise, we treat drug users and make social rehabilitation of drug users by promoting enjoyment prospects and re-integrating drug users into the community through ICAD,” Ramos said.
Under this approach, PDEA is also conducting community development to address the root causes of drug use as well as reduce HIV-AIDS risk related behavior in coordination with the Philippine National AIDS Council-Department of Health (DOH).
Lastly, Ramos elaborated to the attendees the Harm Reduction Approach. He said it is associated with interventions that reduce the acute impact of drug use. These impacts are as likely to be social or economic harms like crime of desire, corruption, over-incarceration, violence, stigmatization and marginalization or harassment.
“The goals of PDEA’s Harm Reduction Program are grounded on the reality that many people have difficulty to stop engaging in illegal drug activities. In the course of coping up and liberating one’s self from the clutches of drug menace, PDEA is there to encourage positive change and mitigate the harms of drug laws and policies. And most importantly, we offer alternatives to approaches that seek to prevent dependency on illegal drugs,” Ramos explained. (Luis T. Cueto/PIAOrientalMindoro/R4B)