(Deputy director general Irish Calaguas presents PDEA’s reformation program that earned praises from delegates to the 24th Asia-Pacific Drug Enforcement Conference in Tokyo. Head of Philippine delegation PDEA chief Aaron Aquino joins Calaguas on the second day of the conference. Contributed Photo)
TOKYO — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) highlighted that strengthened cooperation with other countries is a major key in addressing the illegal drug trade.
Speaking at the 24th Asia Pacific Drug Enforcement Conference in Tokyo, Japan on February 26, Director Irish Calaguas, PDEA acting deputy director general for administration, cited the enhanced cooperation of PDEA and international counterparts, which resulted to positive arrests of international drug syndicates members operating in the country.
Calaguas, representing PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino, reported the dismantling of clandestine laboratories in Ibaan, Bataan and the first ecstasy laboratory in Malabon City last April 2018 as a concrete example of good collaboration with the National Narcotics Control Commission, Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China.
She also cited the good relationships of the Philippines with other countries such as the USA, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and others. Calaguas’ presentation, composed of 25 slides, tackled the Philippine Drug Situation and the Drug Control Strategies.
She also received positive reactions from member countries after she explained the harm reduction programs of PDEA such as the Balay Silangan (House of Hope) Reformation Centers and Sagip Batang Solvent (save the children who are sniffing solvent).
Balay Silangan Reformation Program is a brainchild of PDEA Director General Aquino. It is aimed to teach drug offenders livelihood programs and life skills and prepare them for the reintegration in the society. To date, a total of 24 Balay Silangan have been inaugurated nationwide.