PDEA gets zero budget for barangay drug clearing program under PADS
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) received zero funds for its drug clearing and intervention program for barangays under the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drug Strategy (PADS), its chief revealed on Wednesday.
The budget for that purpose is supposed to be lodged under the government’s Philippine Anti-Illegal Drug Strategy (PADS), which has a proposed budget of P2 billion for next year.
“Ang proposed ng DDB (Dangerous Drugs Board) dito (PADS) is P9 billion pero P2 billion lang ang na-budget for that and ang nakita lang ni Senator (Panfilo) Lacson na for those government agencies na nandiyan e zero ang budget ng PDEA doon,” PDEA chief Wilkins Villanueva told radio station dzBB when sought for comment about the cuts in the proposed 2021 budget for government’s program to curb illegal drugs.
(DDB proposed P9 billion but P2 billion was allocated under the budget for that and Senator Lacson saw that PDEA had zero budget for that.)
With this, the anti-narcotics agency is seeking P492 million funds for the program so it can clear more drug-affected barangays next year.
“Ang sa’min dapat dito (PADS) namin ipapasok yung program namin for barangay drug clearing program kasi itong PADS kasi anchored ito sa barangay drug clearing program e so ang pinaglalaban namin dito ay P492 million sana para makapagclear kami ng more than 7,000 barangays for next year,” he said
(For us, we are supposed to do a barangay drug clearing program under the PADS so what we are fighting for is a budget of P492 million so that we can clear more than 7,000 barangays next year.)
Villanueva however noted that PDEA still has a budget for its drug clearing efforts under the National Expenditure Program (NEP) for next year.
“Merong (Mayroong) budget ang PDEA under NEP 2021 pero para sa Whole of Country convergence for implementation of PADS ang walang portion ang PDEA,” he said in a text message to INQUIRER.net as a clarification to the report regarding their budget.
(PDEA has a budget under NEP 2021 but for the whole country convergence for implementation of PADS, PDEA has no budget.)
In a Senate budget hearing of the proposed budget of the PDEA and DDB, Lacson lamented the “miniscule budget” of the government’s anti-drug program next year which is at P2 billion.
Of the P2 billion budget allocation for PADS, Lacson said P1.2 billion was earmarked for the Department of Health while P664 million was given to the Department of Interior and Local Government, including P546 million for the Philippine National Police.
From July 2016 to Aug. 31 this year, PDEA’s records showed that 20,165 out of 42,045 barangays had been cleared of illegal drugs.
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