Private sector to join drug awareness drive

MANILA — Owners of private establishments will undergo workshops with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to help identify illegal drug peddlers renting spaces from them.

This, as PDEA launched its advocacy program on Thursday, which seeks to promote a drug-free workplace such as in hotels, bars, restaurants, condominiums, subdivisions, and warehouses.

“This comes after drug busts conducted in high-end condominiums with hundreds of thousands worth of stashed illegal drugs. Tapos sasabihin ng owner na hindi naman daw kahina-hinala ang mga renter kaya di rin nila naisip (Now the owners would confess that they have no idea that renters were peddling or using drugs because they were not suspicious to begin with),” PDEA OIC Director Irish Calaguas said in a press briefing.

From 2013-2019, PDEA has conducted 2,062 operations inside hotels, bars, restaurants, condominiums, subdivisions, and warehouses.

These operations resulted in the arrest of 4,000 people and the seizure of PHP10 billion worth of illegal drugs.

The advocacy aims to educate hotels, bars, restaurants, condominiums, subdivisions, and warehouses owners to identify potential drug laboratories, drug dens, and drug warehouses.

As a special project of PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino, the program seeks to engage the management of private establishments, including security agencies, by implementing their own drug-free workplace program, educate employees on the ill-effects of dangerous drugs and enforce a random drug test for all their personnel.

Quezon City has partnered with PDEA to launch the advocacy, after it was hailed as the most functional anti-drug abuse council by the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

The city is the first in the Philippines to craft a Dangerous Drugs Code and has followed the national government’s directive of imposing strict measures based on it.

Quezon City has been chosen as the program’s pilot implementation site and is expected to be replicated in all cities and municipalities of the National Capital Region.Christine Cudis/

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