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PDEA: Shabu price up by 50 percent

The street value of methamphetamine hydrochloride known as shabu has increased by more than 50 percent since the Duterte administration launched the all-out war against illegal drugs.

This developed as both big-time and street drug peddlers scampered to other locations to get shabu as their previous sources could not provide them with the supply in their respective areas.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said the current street price of shabu in the local market now ranges from P1,200 to P25,000 per gram, the highest since 2002.

PDEA Director General Isidro S. Lapeña said this showed 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.

“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 noted.

He explained that the price structure of shabu varies depending on the area or place of transaction, payments, and on the quality or purity of the substance.

PDEA records revealed that the street price of shabu is lowest in Region 9 at P1,200 per gram, while in Region 12 it is pegged at P25,000 per gram, the highest.

Lapeña revealed that 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 Duterte.

He also attributed the dwindling supply of shabu to the coordinated efforts of the PDEA and other law enforcement agencies in the massive crackdown on high-value drug personalities. (Chito A. Chavez)