Last week I talked about alcohol and cigarettes, but this week I’ll talk about drugs in the Philippines.
I talked about how easy it is to get alcohol and cigarettes, even though you’re below 18. Well, drugs are similar, at least some drugs.
Let’s start off with rugby, which is also known as liquid cement, commonly used for minor repairs on things like shoes, but some use it a drug. These people are called “rugby boys”, most are young street children who get a hold of a small amount of this drug, and just sniff it until they get high. I think this is where it all starts here.
When I was in 2nd year High School, I had a classmate who used marijuana, I know because he showed us he had some while at school. Some of my classmates also said they would go “butoy”, which I think means smoke marijuana, can’t be sure though. I think a lot of them were more cautious in 3rd year because AdDU (Ateneo de Davao University) said they would have drug tests on random students. Marijuana is actually one of 2 preferred drugs in the Philippines, the other very common drug here is “shabu” or meth (some say this is a P1 billion-a-day industry).
Here, some estimate that 65% of people who commit crimes are suspected of being drug addicts. In 1972, there were a suspected 20,000 drug users here, but in 2004, it skyrocketed to 6.7 million people, what would that number be now?
I’m sure a lot of you heard about those Filipinos who were arrested in China for smuggling drugs. If you think about it though, there are thousands of Filipinos who go abroad each day, how many of those carry drugs?
Now what is the Philippines doing to counter drugs? Well, let’s start in Davao, Duterte, our mayor, stated in an interview on TV5 that he will give anyone who catches or has information that will lead to catching a drug pusher a brand new Isuzu Crosswind. He also said that if someone kills a drug pusher, he’ll give that person a brand new Mitsubishi Montero Sport. As for the rest of the Philippines, the punishment is 12 years for possessing 0.17 ounces of drugs, although some are trying to get the suspension of the death penalty lifted for drug possessors.
I’m hoping the government is taking more steps to win this battle, especially considering a lot of kids now are getting into drugs. Some people say that the Philippines is already “harsh” in dealing with drug pushers, but if the government isn’t winning yet, then what is the next step?
BTW I have never used illegal drugs, and never will.