Government agents seized a total of 44 shipments of shabu, ecstasy, and other prohibited substances worth a total P1.73 billion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in 2020.
The latest apprehension was the shipment of party drug ecstasy tablets at the Central Mail Exchange Center in Pasay City worth P1 million late last month.
Customs-NAIA district collector Carmelita Talusan attributed their accomplishment in apprehending drug shipments to her men and the continuing support of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group.
Most of the drugs seized were shabu, ecstasy, cocaine, and kush marijuana.
Apart from the smuggled drug shipments, NAIA port in close coordination with other government agencies also able to intercept P1.16 million imported meat products, P2.5 million medicines without permits, P1.5 million in gun parts and accessories, P11.7 million assorted jewelry, and P29.8 million of undeclared currency and other smuggled food products and misdeclared items.
“This was the result of our intensified campaign on dangerous contraband and anti-social goods at the airport in 2020 in compliance with the directives and programs initiated by our Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero,” said Talusan.
Talusan said despite the risks of the coronavirus disease pandemic, Customs personnel are also working 24/7 to ensure proper compliance of all needed personal protective equipment, medical supplies and donations, and release them on time.
On Dec. 15, Customs NAIA was also recognized by the Philippine Red Cross led by its chairman Senator Richard Gordon as one of the government agencies with the “Most Distinguished COVID-19 Pandemic Response.”
Also, in 2020 the port contributed a total of P33.7 billion revenue to aid in government projects through the implementation of various online processes.
The port also increased manpower to extend assistance with Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Tourism, and other agencies in the clearance of over 350,000 returning Overseas Filipino Workers and other repatriates who arrived at the airport amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two Customer Care Centers were also opened in NAIA main office and in Central Mail Exchange Center to serve as a One-Stop shop or a central hub for Customs-related transactions and to further assist stakeholders in their inquiries and concerns.
“Last year was indeed a very challenging year. With the guidance, leadership and reforms of Commissioner Guerrero and the unwavering dedication of NAIA officials and the entire team, our port attained significant performance in terms of revenue performance, border protection and trade facilitation for year 2020,” Talusan said.
“We will continue this commitment in providing government service 24/7,” she added.