Multi-faceted approach needed to eradicate illegal drugs — Bong Go

Sen. Bong” Go has once again appealed to the government to sustain the gains made by the Duterte Administration against illegal drugs and further intensify its drug rehabilitation programs.

Despite the controversies that surrounded former president Rodrigo Duterte’s fight against illegal drugs, Go maintained that the nation has significantly benefited from the intensified crack down on illegal drug operations.

“The proliferation of illegal drugs has posed a continuing threat to the lives and safety of our people, and the peace and order of our country. Not only has it ripped families apart and snatched the bright future of many of our Filipino youth, but it has also bred criminality and corruption, compounding the societal ills that harm our nation,” expressed Go.

“If left unchecked, illegal drugs could have completely eroded the very foundation of our country and brought grave consequences to the lives of every Filipino that we could not even fathom. Recognizing this, I fully supported the intensive efforts of our former president Rodrigo Duterte in his campaign against illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption,” he cited.

The senator noted that through the previous administration’s campaign against illegal drugs, the crime rate likewise drastically decreased by 73.76% from 2016 to 2021, as reported by the Philippine National Police.

He then thanked President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. for expressing his intention to continue creating a more holistic approach in dealing with drug-related issues.

“The problem of illegal drugs persists and so must our efforts to eradicate it. Thus, I am happy that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has recently indicated his intent to continue the fight against illegal drugs. I also agree with him that in doing so, we must also put emphasis on prevention and rehabilitation,” remarked Go.

“That is why I reiterate my persistent call that our approach to the drug menace in our country must be multi-faceted. We must remember that drug users are victims in need of physical, psychosocial, and spiritual help. They can still be productive members of our society, and we must endeavor to take care of them as we do any other Filipino,” he appealed.

The lawmaker renewed his call for the enactment of his priority legislative measure, Senate Bill No. 428, that would mandate the establishment of mandatory drug rehabilitation centers throughout the country that would be supervised by the Department of Health.

The center shall provide care, treatment and accommodation to drug dependents; enhance their physical, psychological and social capability to cope with common problems; and provide after-care, follow-up and social reintegration services, among others.

“I am also glad that the Commission on Human Rights has recently expressed its support for this proposed measure. I appreciate the commission’s recognition of our initiative and I am also eager to be its partner in fostering a human rights-based approach to policies that prioritize health, rehabilitation, and socioeconomic interventions for the treatment and recovery of persons who use drugs,’ he expressed.

Go has likewise extended his support for the proposed budgets of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Dangerous Drugs Board, saying, “They have aptly exemplified in the past administration, these two agencies are crucial to our continuing campaign against illegal drugs and criminality.”

“It is important that we recognize the contributions of our anti-drug personnel who always put their lives on the line in the fulfillment of their duties,” he added.

In this regard, Go likewise filed SBN 419, establishing a Magna Carta of Benefits for the officers and personnel of the PDEA.

“While we are yet to enact this into law, I hope that with the proposed budget, we will be able to support and promote the welfare of our officers,” he noted.

Committed to protecting the Filipinos’ welfare, Go hopes that the government continues to ramp up its fight against the “ills of society”, such as illegal drugs, criminality and corruption, stressing that it is for the security of the nation.

“Our fight against illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption may be far from over but if we continue the significant strides made by the previous administration and fully support President Marcos Jr.’s call for unity in our shared advocacy to uplift the lives of Filipinos from poverty and the ongoing pandemic, we will be closer than ever to our goal of protecting our children and securing the future of generations to come,” he concluded.

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