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Saturday, May 18, 2024

PDEA, PCG ink pact vs. drug transshipments

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The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on intercepting various contrabands and illegal drugs entering the country by shipments at sea.

Under the agreement, both agencies will also cooperate to stop the entry of controlled precursors and essential chemicals (CPECs) smuggled, transported, and transshipped into Philippine territory.

Both parties have also agreed to hold regular meetings to discuss operational matters, the current status of the programs, and the formulation of necessary strategies to facilitate the accomplishments of the MOA’s objectives; and exchange best practices and knowledge on drug smuggling, transportation, and transshipment.

The activity was witnessed by key officials and personnel from both government agencies with the main signatories PDEA Director General, Undersecretary Moro Virgilio Lazo and PCG Commandant, Admiral Ronnie Gil Gavan.

In addition, the PDEA shall establish a comprehensive information collection plan to obtain information on illegal drug activities from sources at all levels and shall take the lead role in narcotics investigation and the conduct of anti-drug operations, while PCG shall assist the former in gathering, collecting, processing, and analyzing information to prevent the entry of illegal drugs through the coastlines.

The MOA also paved the way to deputize PDEA personnel to join PCG in enforcement inspections of merchant ships and vessels within the ambit of its lawful authority.

With 7,107 islands, the Philippines has one of the longest coastlines in the world which stretches 36,289 kilometers. It extends 2,000 kilometers from Batanes to Sulu encompassing 25 major cities located on the coast.

It is also estimated that more than 60 percent of the Philippine population lives along the coast.

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