House extends life of Congressional Oversight Committee on Dangerous Drugs

The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a joint resolution extending the life of the Congressional Oversight Committee on Dangerous Drugs for a period of ten years.

House Joint Resolution 16, principally authored by Rep. Vicente Belmonte, Jr. (Lone District, Iligan City), Chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, seeks to allow the Congressional Oversight Committee on Dangerous Drugs to thoroughly review the policies and procedures of agencies implementing Republic Act 9165 otherwise known as the “Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002,” and conduct more public consultations.

Belmonte said the resolution mandates the Oversight Committee to set the guidelines and overall framework to monitor and ensure the proper implementation of the proposed act.

“The Oversight Committee has determined inherent weaknesses in the drug law which requires a thorough review of policies/procedures of implementing agencies, consultations with the judiciary and the codification of the drug law,” Belmonte said.

Belmonte said it is the declared policy of the State to safeguard the integrity of its territory and the well-being of its citizenry particularly the youth, from the harmful effects of dangerous drugs on their physical and mental well-being, and to defend the same against acts or omissions detrimental to their development and preservation.

“The State needs to enhance further the efficacy of the law against dangerous drugs, it being one of today’s more serious social ills,” Belmonte said.

The Congressional Oversight Committee shall be composed of seven members from the House of Representatives and seven from the Senate headed by the respective chairpersons of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs and the Senate Committee on Public Order and Illegal Drugs.

Belmonte said the Oversight Committee is directed to ensure transparency and require the submission of reports from government agencies on the conduct of programs, projects and policies.

“It shall approve the budget for their programs and all disbursements including compensation of all personnel,” Belmonte said.

As provided for in the joint resolution, the Oversight Committee shall submit periodic reports to the President and Congress and determine inherent weaknesses in the law and recommend the necessary legislation or executive measures.

It is also directed to monitor and ensure the proper implementation of authorized drug testing, establishment and operation of drug treatment and rehabilitation centers and the joint anti-drug operations of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Philippine National Police

(PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

The co-authors of the measure are Reps. Winston Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City), Romero Federico Quimbo (2nd District, Marikina City), Jeffrey Ferrer (4th District, Negros Occidental), Nelson Collantes

(3rd District, Batangas), Leopoldo Bataoil (2nd District, Pangasinan) and Maria Milagros Magsaysay (1st District, Zambales).

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