Demand for illegal drugs may increase as most bars open in Cebu City –

In this November 2021 photo, around 600 grams of suspected shabu were confiscated from a man after police conducted a buy-bust operation in barangay Calamba, Cebu City.
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Police here are considering the possibility that there would be an increase in the demand for illegal drugs as the city reopens establishments, including bars.
Aside from anticipating that there would also be increase in crime incidents following the lifting of curfew for adults, police are also focusing their efforts on illegal drug operations now that the city is almost back to pre-pandemic state, said Police Lieutenant Colonel Wilbert Parilla, deputy director for operations of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).
READ: CCPO anticipate rise in crime incidents after lifting the curfew
“Usa na sa atoang obserbahan nga mutaas ba ang demand. Considering nga most of the bars will be open so atoa expectation ana is mutaas ang demand. So once mutaas ang demand, so probably there will also be supply or mumahal sa umaabot nga semana,” Parilla said.
(That’s one thing we will observe, if the demand will increase. Considering that most of the bars will be open so our expectation is that the demand will increase. So once the demand increases, so probable there will also be supply or it will become expensive in the coming weeks.)
Parilla, however, clarified that even if major health protocols in the city were still in effect in the past months, they have already been intensifying their operations against illegal drugs.

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On February 24, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama announced the lifting of curfew and some other protocols as the city was placed under Alert Level 2. The city’s will remain under Alert Level 2 until March 15.
READ: Entire Cebu to remain under Alert Level 2
Now with much eased restrictions, Parilla said that there will be no difference aside from the fact that there is a chance for increase in the demand, given that people can now go to bars with no limit in time. This gives drug personalities the opportunity to pursue their illegal drug trade.
To counter this, Parilla said that they have already directed the station commanders of the 11 police stations here to intensify their monitoring of resto bars within their areas of jurisdiction.
“The same ang directives nga subsub ang pag operate and monitoring sa resto bars within their area kay usa ni siya sa atoang gibantayan nga kusog na gae ang bars especially nga wala na tay limit sa oras then probably there will be demand,” he further said.
(The directives are the same which is to continue the operation and monitoring of resto bars within their area because this is one area that we are looking out for especially that there is no limit in the time so probably there will be demand.)
Amid the possibility in the increase in demand for illegal drugs, Parilla said that they have generally assessed that drug supply  in the city has decreased. He added that the volume of illegal drugs they confiscated in their past operations also dropped.
Parilla, however, could not provide figures for this as of this posting.
On Friday, February 25, city police confiscated almost P4 million worth of suspected shabu during the conduct of their Simultaneous Anti-Criminality and Law Enforcement Operations (SACLEO). Of their 36 buy-bust operations, 40 individuals were arrested, majority of which (27) are newly identified.
READ: Police attack supply, demand sides of illegal drugs in Cebu City
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