(Feature) Men still dominate drug trade in the country; 20.51% of barangays nationwide drug-affected areas –PDEA

February 21, 2015 12:28 am 

By C. Lloyd T. Caliwan, Antonette B. Tagnipez & Mariane Clarize V. Noriega

MANILA, Feb. 18 (PNA) – Men continue to be dominant in the trade of illegal drugs in the country, while mostly minors are tapped as couriers and sellers, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) revealed in its profile of arrested drug personalities in the Philippines.

PDEA Director General Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac Jr. bared the updates on Wednesday based on a consolidated report of accomplishments of all anti-drug units in the country.

“Males still dominate the country’s illegal drug trade. Out of the 13,786 drug personalities arrested in 2014, 11,946 or 87 percent were males, while arrested females constitute the remaining 13 percent at 1,839,” he said.

Cacdac added that 58.33 percent of the suspects were pushers or distributors of illegal drugs, most of them unemployed and in the age range of 30-39 years.

In 2014, a total of 179 minors were arrested for possessing, selling and transporting illegal drugs, and endorsed to local social welfare and development offices nationwide. Forty percent of them were aged 17 years, with boys constituting 82.68 percent.

Cacdac noted an increasing incidence on the involvement of minors in illegal drug activities.

“Last year’s number is 20.94 percent higher than the data in 2013, when 148 minors were arrested. With the arrest of a six-year-old drug personality, it recorded the youngest suspect arrested for a drug offense since 2003,” he said, citing that drug personalities are getting younger.

He added that drug syndicates continue to take advantage of Section 6 of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 which exempts minors or children from criminal liability. Although they are minors, they will still be criminally liable under Republic Act No. 9344 if the court finds that they acted with discernment in violating the anti-drug law.

Meanwhile, PDEA also bared that at present, out of 42,065 barangays in the country, 20.51 percent are considered drug-affected.

Cacdac said that this percentage represents a total of 8,629 barangays afflicted by the drug menace.

The consolidated data were gathered from operational reports of PDEA operating units and other law enforcement agencies.

”A barangay is said to be drug-affected when there is a determined existence of drug user, pusher, manufacturer, marijuana cultivator or other drug personality regardless of number in the area,” Cacdac explained.

There are three basic parameters in determining barangay drug-affectation: slightly affected, moderately affected, and seriously affected.

Barangays are considered slightly affected if there are identified drug users in the community but no known drug pushers or traffickers are operating in the area; moderately affected if at least one suspected drug pusher or trafficker is operating in the barangay; and seriously affected if at least one drug laboratory, den, dive or resort is suspected to exist in the community.

The National Capital Region (NCR) has the highest rate of affectation with 92.10 percent of the region’s barangays affected, followed by Region 4A or CALABARZON at 33.78 percent.

CALABARZON comprises the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon.

“Methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, and marijuana remain the most abused illegal drugs in the Philippines. Based on CY 2014 arrest data, 88.78 percent involved the seizure of shabu, while 8.86 percent covered the confiscation of marijuana. Dangerous drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, ephedrine, “fly-high” and others constitute the 2.36 percent of the drug-related arrests,” Cacdac said.

Based on the results of anti-drug operations conducted in 2014, the street value of shabu ranged from PhP2,000 to PhP10,000 per gram, while marijuana was priced at PhP18 to PhP300 per gram, depending on the area of transaction and quality of drug sold.

“We are continuously intensifying our anti-drug operations to suppress sources of illegal drugs, particularly shabu, and at the same time sustain efforts to seek and wipe out marijuana plantation sites in the country,” the PDEA chief said. (PNA) SCS/CLTC/Antonette B. Tagnipez/Mariane Clarize V. Noriega (OJT)

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