The ‘enforcement’ of drugs

05:01 AM September 26, 2017

Whoever came up with the nomenclature for the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) might have either experienced some temporary mental lapse or simply ignored elementary grammar.

I am not an English professor but my plain common sense invariably brings me nothing but deeply knitted brows every time I hear PDEA being mentioned.


I could only ask: “how does, or how can, one really enforce drugs?” One may enforce laws or rules or regulations, but to enforce drugs is something that is entirely new!

The dictionary says that “enforce” means “to give force to” and its nearest synonym is “strengthen,” in turn, meaning “to make stronger.” These are all transitive verbs whose direct object, in this case, is “drugs.” Hasn’t it, then, occurred to some of us that drug enforcement could somehow be construed as giving force to or strengthening drugs?


Alas and alack, that insinuation sounds kind of intriguing or even uncalled for! And so, I stand corrected and must apologize if I am wrong in what I am trying to point out.

Otherwise, I believe there is a need to rethink “PDEA” in terms of both its connotation and grammatical construction.
That is to say, this essential government agency must unambiguously convey its truer or real mandate to the public.

RUDY L. CORONEL, [email protected]

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