Alvarez pushes for tougher ASEAN anti-drug campaign

MANILA-- The Philippines' gains in the anti-drug campaign will take center stage in the upcoming 13th meeting of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) Fact-Finding Committee (AIFOCOM) To Combat the Drug Menace at the Conrad Hotel in Pasay City from July 4 to 8.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, current AIPA president, will join the call of President Rodrigo Duterte for a stronger regional anti-drug campaign toward the realization of a drug-free ASEAN community.

According to a statement on Thursday, the Philippines will present during the AIFOCOM meeting its country report covering the magnitude of the country's drug problem, law enforcement campaigns, drug control policies, laws and necessary policy reforms, preventive education, and international cooperation, among others.

The Philippines' report will be presented by House Deputy Speaker Raneo Abu as head of the Philippine delegation.

The AIFOCOM meeting will be divided into four sessions with the opening remarks to be delivered by AIPA Secretary-General Isra Sunthornvut and the welcome address by Alvarez.

The first session is highlighted by the regional reports done by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), ASEAN Senior Officials on Drug Matters (ASOD), and ASEAN Secretariat.

Meanwhile, the country reports of the 10 AIPA member-countries will be presented during the second session. The 10 member-countries include Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The third session will focus on the twin resolutions, namely: Resolution Transforming AIFOCOM into AIPA Council on Dangerous Drugs (AIPACODD) and Strengthening its Role and Mandate as a Parliamentary Tool to Combat Dangerous Drugs and Resolution on Forging Inclusive Partnership towards a Drug-Free ASEAN Community.

The closing session will be capped by the closing remarks of Alvarez followed by the announcement on the Host of AIFOCOM's 14th meeting.

Pursuant to its term of reference, the AIFOCOM should meet at least once a year, preferably in the country where the AIPA General Assembly will be held on that year. The Philippines is host to the 38th AIPA General Assembly this year.

Source: Philippines News Agency