The drug problem in the country has now become a national security threat, according to Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Isidro Lapena.
Lapena spoke before the "RealNumbersPH" forum of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), together with the PDEA, Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) held at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City on Tuesday.
Lapena said that the effects in the country of the Php 120-billion a year illegal drug industry should not be trivialized.
He noted the contagious effect drug users or pushers have on their family and community members.
The PDEA chief said that addicts or users could easily influence other people to get into drugs, who in turn, influence other people at an exponential rate.
Lapena said that it was when the problem reached such a magnitude that not only the country's peace and order was affected, but the economy as well.
He added that on the subject of real numbers, President Rodrigo Duterte's often-mentioned figure of 4 million drug users in the country is actually incorrect, as the real number is closer to 4.7 million.
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