US has given PH $5.4M vs drug abuse, trafficking
The US Department of State’s international narcotics and law enforcement program allocation for the Philippines has totaled more than $5.4 million (about P231.5 million) in the past four years.
Next year, the Washington D.C.-based agency’s budget for the program is estimated to reach $2.45 million, the same amount it received this year.
In the East Asia and Pacific region, Indonesia received the biggest program funding ($23 million), followed by the Philippines, Thailand ($3.5 million), Laos ($3 million), China ($1.7 million), Timor Leste ($1.6 million), Cambodia ($1.34 million) and Vietnam ($1.1 million), according to a report by the state department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (Binlea).
Other recipients of Binlea funds included Afghanistan ($1.03 billion), Iraq ($1 billion), Mexico ($657 million), Colombia ($447 million), Pakistan ($310 million), Lebanon ($50 million), Yemen ($22 million) and Nepal ($7.4 million), among others.
The Philippines, meanwhile, remains on the US Department of State’s list of over 60 “major drug money-laundering countries” in the world.
In its 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Binlea said financial institutions in these countries “engage in currency transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds from international narcotics trafficking.”
According to the INCSR, the Philippines “continues to face challenges in the areas of drug production, drug trafficking and internal drug consumption.”
But it noted that the Philippine government “takes drug trafficking and drug abuse seriously, and has made substantial efforts to address these problems.”
Aside from the Philippines, other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) members on the list included Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Cambodia and Burma (Myanmar).
Also listed were the following countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Iran, India, Pakistan, the Netherlands, Russia, Somalia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the US, as well as China, Macau and the Hong Kong Administrative Region.
The report also identified the 20 “major illicit drug-producing or drug transit countries” worldwide: Afghanistan, Bahamas, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.
The report also named the 15 “major sources of essential chemicals used in the production of illicit narcotics”: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Germany, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, UK and the US.
It noted that in the Philippines, the “lack of law enforcement resources, the slow pace of judicial and investigative reforms, and lack of law enforcement inter-agency cooperation continue to hamper government efforts to investigate and prosecute higher echelons of drug trafficking organizations” operating in the country.
“The primary drug threat faced by the Philippines continues to be the importation, manufacture and abuse of methamphetamine hydrochloride, also known as ‘shabu,’” the report said.
It added: “High-grade methamphetamine produced in other countries continues to be smuggled into the country by transnational drug traffickers.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.