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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations
I join other delegations in congratulating you on your election as Chairman of the Third Committee. My delegation looks forward to working with you. We are confident in your leadership and assure you of our cooperation.
The increasing number of arrested drug traffickers, seizures of big volumes of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals and dismantling of clandestine laboratories for the past five years in the Philippines show the extent and impact of the drug abuse and drug trade problem in my country.
In the year 2007, a total of 4,278 cases of drug abuse in the Philippines were reported by different treatment and outpatient facilities. Nineteen percent of these reported cases involve those belonging to the age group of 25 to 29 years. Methamphetamine hydrocloride and cannabis, remain the most commonly abused substances.
Like in many other countries, cannabis is being grown in several parts of the country. From nine sites identified in 1972, the number had grown to 107 in 2005. However, through intense government efforts beginning last year, the number of cannabis plantation sites has been significantly reduced—by 57%. In its steadfast commitment to eradicate the problem, Philippine Law enforcement authorities have apprehended, in accordance with law, 10,061 persons involved in illicit drug activities and have filed in court 8,713 drug cases. There were also nine clandestine laboratories and 13 storage facilities that were discovered and dismantled in 2007 as a result of strengthened government efforts against the drug trade.
The primary strategic concept which underspins the efforts of the Philippine government in addressing the drug abuse problem and curbing the profits derived from illegal drug activities are demand reduction and supply reduction.
Specifically, the demand and supply reduction strategies are carried out through the following measures:
First; preventive education programs to dissuade users or potential users from experimenting with illegal drugs and/or continuing to use them;
Second; treatment and rehabilitation programs aimed at facilitating abstinence, reduction in frequency or amount of use;
Third; intensified campaign against the use and trafficking of illegal drugs;
Fourth; regulatory compliance;
Fifth; judicial and legislative measures ; and
Sixth; national, regional and international cooperation to fight illegal drug trafficking and abuse of dangerous drugs.
Now, with the full and sustained implementation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 (RA 9165), led and coordinated by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the cooperation of various agencies concerned, civil society, particularly at the local and grassroots level and the backdrop of a good environment for international and regional cooperation in the fight against illegal drugs, a growing sense of optimism that the drug abuse problem can be solved and the vision for a drug-free Philippines can soon be realized.
Let me emphasize that global cooperation is crucial. Drug addiction respects no boundaries. Effective domestic measures are only half of the solution. International cooperation must be strengthened to fight this scourge. The Philippines stands ready to work with other nations together with the United Nations in galvanizing global cooperation to fight this scourge.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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