SEN. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go stressed the need for the government to continue the fight against dangerous drugs and to prioritize the safety and well-being of Filipinos as he supported the plans and programs of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB).
During a budget hearing held by the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday, Sept. 28, Go stressed that if the problem of dangerous drugs resurfaces, the country’s crime and corruption problems could do the same.
While the country has done so much since 2016 in the fight against dangerous drugs, he said the government must continue what it started.
The safety of Filipinos must remain a top priority, Go stressed, even as the country has made great strides in the fight against illegal drugs.
He said he was confident that the PDEA and the DDB are “more than up to the challenge” of tackling the drug problem in the country as they have exemplified in the past.
“The work of PDEA and DDB is crucial to our ongoing campaign against illegal drugs and crime,” Go said.
Meanwhile, the senator also agreed with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s push for the drug problem to be addressed through prevention and rehabilitation. He reiterated his call for a multifaceted strategy to tackle the problem.
“We must remember that drug addicts are victims who need physical, psychosocial and spiritual help. They can still be productive members of our society, and we must strive to care for them as we do. for any other Filipino,” Go said.
“As we focus on the law enforcement side of our anti-drug campaign, we must also ensure that our treatment and rehabilitation efforts are equally relentless,” he added.
The senator introduced Senate Bill (SB) 428 which will establish a drug treatment and rehabilitation center in each province.
He urged the PDEA and DDB to work closely with the Ministry of Health in planning and formulating drug prevention and control policies and programs, so that the government succeeds in its efforts against illegal drugs. and rehabilitates victims of drug addiction.
During the hearing, Go also shared that he filed SB 419, or the “Magna Carta of Benefits for PDEA Officers and Staff,” which seeks to recognize the contributions of PDEA officers and staff. who protect the country even though their work is constant. put them at risk of injury and other serious incidents.
Go hopes that with the agencies’ proposed budgets, it will be possible to support and promote the welfare of their officers even though the government has yet to enact its proposed measure into law.