PDEA fights big drug problem with a measly P1.4-B budget
How can you fight a P12-billion monthly drug problem with a measly P1.4-billion budget for the entire year?
Sen. Panfilo Lacson, vice chair of the Senate committee on finance, raised this question on Monday when he presided over the deliberation of the proposed budgets of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB).
PDEA’s allocation approved by the Department of Budget and Management was P1.448 billion for next year, while the DDB had been given P232 million.
When asked to gauge the extent of the drug problem in the country, PDEA pegged monthly consumption of “shabu” (crystal meth) at P12 billion by four million users taking .05 grams thrice a week at P5,000 per gram.
“We don’t realize that we have a P12 billion per month drug problem and we are countering it with P1.4 billion plus another P232 million from the DDB. So how can we succeed with that kind of an equation?” Lacson asked.
He said the agency deserved a bigger budget considering that the war on drugs was President Rodrigo Duterte’s “baby.” —Jocelyn R. Uy
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