House bill seeks to give additional P55 million yearly to anti-drug campaign


Posted at Apr 07 2018 05:47 PM

MANILA - A bill that aims to increase funding for anti-drug efforts of three government agencies by P55 million annually has been approved by a House of Representatives committee, the chamber said in a statement Saturday.

Under House Bill No. 1982, the Department of National Defense (DND) will receive an additional P30 million fund "to expand activities to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the country."

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) will, meanwhile, get P15 million more "to monitor border ports-of-entry to stop the entry of illegal drugs in the country," while an additional P10 million will be given to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the country."

Once passed into law, the three agencies will receive the said amounts annually for up to 3 years.

"The increase in resources of the DND, PCG and BOC shall enable the agencies to better formulate policies that will supplement existing ones aimed at preventing the flow of illegal drugs into the country," said Sultan Kudarat Rep. Horacio Suansing Jr., principal author of the bill.

The House has yet to vote on the bill in the plenary as Congress is currently on recess.

The government's intensified campaign against illegal drugs started in 2016 after President Rodrigo Duterte assumed the presidency.

The campaign has been marred by allegations of extrajudicial killings and human rights abuses supposedly committed by anti-drug operatives. The administration has asserted it does not sanction summary killings and police abuses. 

Data from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency showed that as of March 20, 2018, 4,075 drug suspects have been killed while 91,704 anti-illegal drug operations have been carried out since July 2016.