Manila, Philippines — As the controversial war against illegal drugs intensifies in the Philippines, the cost of methamphetamine hydrochloride, which locally known as “shabu,” the primary illegal and addicting drug of choice among abusers, has more than doubled its street price due to scarcity of supply, according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa on Friday said the supply and demand for shabu have a direct effect on its price.
“During the first 100 days in office of President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang Palace, I can say we are winning the campaign against illegal drugs,” he said in a television interview.
The PNP chief added that the supply of shabu in the street has been reduced by around 70 to 80 percent and the price of it sold by street level pushers continued to rise.
“The current street price of shabu in the local market continues its rapid rise and now ranges from P1,200 to P25,000 per gram, the highest since 2002 following the government’s intensified anti-drug campaign. This shows an increase of 127.27 percent as compared to its previous price of P1,200 to P11,000 per gram from January to June 2016,” PDEA Director General Isidro S. Lapeña said.
“Basically, the availability and demand for dangerous drugs have a direct effect on its price structure. When the market price of illegal drugs rises, it is generally assessed that there is a scarcity in supply available in the market and vice-versa, an indication that the present government is winning the war against the drug menace,” Lapeña added.
The price structure of the illegal methamphetamine hydrochloride in the country varies depending on the area or place of transaction, payments, and on the quality or purity of the substance. The street price of shabu is lowest in Zamboanga Peninsula (Region 9) which costs P1,200 per gram, while in SOCCSKSARGEN (Region 12), the drug is priced at P25,000 per gram, the highest.
“The scarcity in the supply of shabu can be attributed to the dismantling of seven clandestine laboratories this year, five of them under the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, and the massive crackdown on high-value drug personalities,” Lapeña explained on why the prices of shabu are contrary proportional to the supply to date.
“The cost of shabu has reached an all-time high, thanks to the revitalized national anti-drug campaign. We have successfully minimized the supply of shabu in the market and currently maximizing our drug-demand reduction efforts in the communities to complement the former,” the PDEA chief said.
The authorities said a kilo of shabu cost P5 million in the past, but based on Dela Rosa’s assessment, a kilo of the illegal drug is currently valued at P25 million.— Cetureon.com