There are no recreational drugs being distributed or sold in Bohol but illegal drug supply in the province could increase to meet a projected growth in demand, said an official of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 7 amid the influx of more tourists in the province due to the shutdown of Boracay, which is known for its vibrant nightlife.
According to PDEA 7 director Emerson Margate, authorities are wary of the possibility that drug suppliers will take advantage of the diversion of tourists from Boracay to Bohol and other Central Visayas destinations.
“Baka most probably, magkakaroon ng demand, so kung may demand, magkakaroon talaga ng influx sa drugs sa province ng Bohol,” Margate said.
The PDEA official said that they have maintained monitoring operations on alleged drug traffickers in coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines and other government agencies.
“With the closure of Boracay, nakita natin na maraming tourist, karamihan ng mga tourist natin especially foreign tourist ay nag-divert sa Cebu, Bohol areas so with that, nakikita na naman natin na ma-exploit naman ito ng mga drug traffickers,” he added.
In Bohol, no big-time bust against party drugs have been reported so far. Margate acknowledged this as well as he noted that Bohol remained free of the said drug type.
However, party drugs supply is not as scarce in neighboring province Cebu, the country’s biggest metropolitan area next to those in the National Capital Region, as authorities have been able to seize ecstasy in previous anti-drug operations in the province’s key cities.
Monitoring against recreational drugs were especially heightened in Cebu in January during the celebration of the Sinulog Festival which drew throngs of partygoers, revelers and vacationers from across the Philippines and even outside the country.