MANILA - Rugby has been labeled as a dangerous drug, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said Thursday as it announces that the substance and other toluene-based contact cement (TBCC) products will no longer be available over the counter.
PDEA chief Dionisio Santiago said people can only buy the rugby and TBCC products over the counter if it contains 5 percent of mustard oil, based on the new regulation issued recently by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB).
"Only those TBCC variant with at least 5% mustard oil content can be purchased over the counter. Otherwise, anyone who buys TBCC, like for example rugby, will now be required to present a valid ID and a barangay clearance indicating the quantity to be purchased and purpose for which it will be used," Santiago said.
The PDEA chief said mustard oil was included as a must ingredient because of it's pungent smell, which discourages sniffing.
"We hope with this measure, we will be able to address the existing problem with rampant use of solvent, particularly rugby, among the street children," he said.
Santiago said the barangay clearance requirement was included to make sure that the person who will buy rugby and other TBCC products are not minors. He said the barangay clearance should "bear the TIN (Tax Identification Number) of the person."
He added that is purchase authorization from the barangay is valid for only one transaction within three days.
The official added that under the new DDB rules, "importers, exporters, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, end-users and handlers of TBCC products" will now be required to apply for licenses from the PDEA.
He said people involved in the distribution of rugby and other TBCC products are also required to regularly submit transaction records.
"We are encouraging the affected industries and stakeholders to help us monitor transactions concerning dangerous drugs. In this case, we need your cooperation to impose self-regulation," Santiago said.