International cooperation in drug fight cited

February 26, 2019
Aaron B. Aquino

A Philippine Drug Enfrocement Agency (PDEA) top official has pointed out that strengthened cooperation with other countries is a major key in addressing the illegal drug trade.

Speaking at the 24th Asia Pacific Drug Enforcement Conference in Tokyo, Japan yesterday, Director Irish Calaguas, Acting Deputy Director General for Administration of the PDEA, cited the enhanced cooperation of the Philippine agency and its international counterparts, which resulted in arrests of international drug syndicate members operating in the country.

Calaguas, representing PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino, reported the dismantling of clandestine laboraties in Ibaan Bataan and the first ecstacy laboratory in Malabon City last April 2018 as a concrete example of good collaboration with the National Narcotics Control Commission, Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China.

She also cited the good relationships of the Philippines with other countries such as tha USA, Japan, Autralia, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and others.

Calaguas’ presentation, composed of 25 slides, tackled the Philippine Drug Situation and Drug Control Strategies.

Calaguas also received positive reactions from member countries after she explained the harm reduction programs of PDEA such as the Balay Silangan (House of Hope) Reformation Centers and Sagip Batang Solvent (save the children who are sniffing solvent).

Balay Silangan Reformation Program is a brain child of PDEA Director General Aquino. It’s a program aimed to teach drug offenders livelihood programs and life skills and prepare them for reintegration in society.

To date a total of 24 Balay Silangans have been inaugurated nationwide.