By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

THE illegal drugs syndicates are also feeling the pinch of the global economic crisis, according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-6).

 

Supt. Roybel Sanchez, PDEA-6 regional director, said shabu sold on the streets are laced with chemicals such as tawas or alum and naphthalene after raw materials for the “poor man’s cocaine” increased.

 

Naphthalene is the main ingredient of insect repellants.

 

Sanchez said the increase in prices of shabu chemicals could be attributed to the global financial crisis and intensified campaign against illegal drugs.

 

The PDEA chief warned drug users that shabu sold nowadays are more dangerous because of tawas and naphthalene.

 

Based on their monitoring reports, Sanchez said shabu is sold at P12, 000 to P15, 000 per gram.

 

Drug users have now shifted to Ecstacy and cocaine which are relatively cheaper than shabu.

 

Sanchez said they are also monitoring the entry of prohibited substances in Jaro, Iloilo City which will celebrate its annual fiesta Monday.

 

The PDEA chief said several drug personalities were spotted in Jaro district.

 

REWARD

 

The Iloilo provincial Capitol will allocate P1 million in support of the “all-out-war” against the illegal drug trade.

 

Governor Niel D. Tupas Sr. yesterday directed all chiefs of police in 42 municipalities and one component city to “wipe out” illegal drugs in the province, which he described as the biggest menace to society.

 

“Illegal drugs pose the biggest threat to our people,” Tupas told a command conference held at the Iloilo Provincial Police Office (IPPO) at Camp Sumagaysay, Sta. Barbara.

 

“We have to throw everything we’ve got at these drug syndicates,” he added.

 

Tupas said he will accept no excuses for failure because the perennial problem of inadequate resources will now be addressed by the Iloilo provincial government.

 

The P1-million fund will be utilized for a system of rewards, training and transportation needs of the PNP working in tandem with the PDEA, provincial administrator Manuel “Boy” Mejorada said.

 

Rep. Niel “Jun-Jun” Tupas Jr. (5th district, Iloilo) vowed to secure more budgetary funding for the operations of the PDEA and the Dangerous Drugs Board in the 2010 budget.

 

Describing the present appropriations for PDEA and DDB as “puny”, the younger Tupas said the government is only showing that it is not serious about defeating the drug problem in the country.

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