A matter of supply and demand

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If you read mainstream media and wonder why there seems to be an endless supply of illegal drugs here despite the aggressive campaign against it by the Duterte administration, the answer is right before our eyes.

The answer is simply that there continues to be demand.

According to the President himself, there are currently three million to four-million drug users all over the country. In fact he sought an extension to end the drug menace; remember that at the beginning of his term, he said he could end it between three and six months.

Previous administrations have missed or even tolerated this. But it is not only a peace-and-order problem. It is a health issue rooted in poverty.

Even if the last pusher were to be killed by the police, there will always be demand for illegal drugs. My gulay, it’s a $500-billion industry worldwide, and syndicates are fighting for turf and control.

I hate to say it, but the war on drugs is misdirected. The President does not seem to be able to control the supply of illegal drugs from abroad. And he knows why.

We have a Customs bureau that is corrupt to the core. Our borders are porous. Local government executives are also corrupt, cooperating with drug suppliers.

Mr. Duterte should redirect his war on illegal drugs to the rehabilitation of users.

This is why countries around             impose the death penalty on those bringing illegal drugs to their country. Lest I am misunderstood, I am not advocating death penalty for drug mules. Only God can end a life. All I am saying is that strong measures must be adopted to prevent the entry of illegal drugs.

The problem will not be solved by killings and more killings.

* * *

The plan to modernize the jeepney industry has divided people. The jeep has been called the king of the road.

Prototypes of the modern jeepney have been built, but these are expensive. Only big operators and businessmen can afford them.

It’s unfortunate that it has come to this—I myself have fond memories of the jeepney—but it has to make way for modernization.

The jeepney has served its purpose and everybody should accept this.

At the same time, efforts should be made so that the modern jeepney will not just be accessible to big businesses.

* * *

There is a report from Beijing that China’s President, Xi Jinping, has launched a “toilet revolution” to clean up public bathrooms to improve quality of life and boost tourism.

The so called revolution was launched two years ago, to create a more civilized environment.

A few days ago, Health Secretary Francisco Duque came out wth a finding from the Philippine Statistical Authority that says Filipino households have more mobile phones than functioning toilets.

I recall that the World Health Organization also found that among Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines is notorious for not having enough toilets for everybody.

I think this should be made a priority. It is the duty and responsibility of the government.

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