The fight against illegal drugs will be relentless, sustained, and have a different approach in 2018, according to Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron N. Aquino, as he issued the PDEA’s 13 operational thrusts.
“The operational thrusts are in keeping with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s goals in the war against drugs”, Aquino said, citing the President’s declaration: “we will not stop until the last drug lord, the last financier, and the last pusher have surrendered or put behind bars”.
Aquino said PDEA will integrate efforts to launch and implement reformation programs, trainings, drug education, and strengthened partnerships with other government agencies and stakeholders to achieve its goals for 2018 with the following Operational Thrusts:
a. Signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) to deputize PDEA to inspect maritime vessels both domestic and international, and inspect public and private ports nationwide;
b. Signing of a MOA with the Land Transportation Fanchising and Regulatory Board and Transportation Netwrork Vehicles Services (TNVS) on policies to prevent the use of TNVS as drug couriers;
c. PDEA will establish offices in the Philippine Ports Authority’s 13 key seaports nationwide;
d. Signing of a MOA with the Philippine Air Force, Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard, and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources for joint anti-illegal drugs operation in Philippine high seas and stop shipside smuggling;
e. Strengthening of Financial Investigation Unit by providing additional manpower and intensified trainings to be able to freeze the assets of known drug lords and eradicate corruption in other government agencies;
f. Launching and implementation of SAGISAG NG TAGUMPAY LABAN SA DROGA AWARD, which will be given to Local Government Units, which successfully implemented a harm reduction program, including the creation of BALAY SILANGAN reformation Centers and drug clearing operations;
g. Creation of BALAY SILANGAN reformation centers for drug surrenderers nationwide to help them have a renewed life;
h. Regular conduct of advocacies in elementary, high-school and colleges nationwide not to just warn students of the ill effects of drugs but to educate them on the new psychoactive drugs;
i. Procurement of 100 Narcotics Detection Dogs (NDDs) to be deployed in the country’s major seaports and airports;
j. Rehabilitation and improvement of PDEA K9 Kennel Facility in San Jose del Monte Bulacan;
k. Conduct trainings for both handlers and NDDs for the detection of additional New Psychoactive Drugs;
l. Facilitate trainings of PDEA Agents on manning x-ray machines of different internatrional and local couriers’ cargoes to prevent illegal drugs from entering the country via mail and delivery services; and
m. Facilitate training of employees of courier delivery services in determining illegal drugs such as ecstacy.
“PDEA will strive further to implement a more intensified action in the accomplishment of its thrusts for 2018, in keeping with its mandate beyond what is expected of us in the war against illegal drugs”, Aquino concluded.