MANILA—For apprehending illegal drug amounting to close to PHP400 million last year, the Customs Anti-Illegal Drugs Task Force (CAIDTF) of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) has been recognized by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
PDEA Director General Isidro Lapena recognized the BOC for their numerous apprehensions, especially at the Customs unit stationed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
For the year 2016, the CAIDTF apprehended dangerous drugs amounting to more than PHP340 million as a result of 36 apprehensions which yielded cocaine, shabu, ecstasy, marijuana and other precursors.
The illegal drugs are transported to the country via fishing vessels and shabu laboratories.
Lt. Sherwin F. Andrada, Executive Officer of CAIDTF, ESS of the BOC Enforcement Group (EG), assured that they will continue to be on the look out for drug groups who would use our airports and customs border to smuggle drugs into the Philippines.
This effort is in line with the directive of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to BOC to apprehend all drugs and drug related precursors that may pass thru the customs borders.
“The war on drugs is the priority of the present administration, and BOC is committed to fully support this challenging task,” Deputy Commissioner for EG Ariel Nepomuceno said in a statement.
On the other hand, the BOC and PDEA has partnered with China’s Fujian Provincial Drug Law Enforcement Agency against the entrance of prohibited drugs into the Philippines.
According to Director Neil Anthony Estrella of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) there is a need to talk about and address the illegal drug operations involving China and the Philippines.
“This will be the start of the interaction and engagement of the customs of China and of Philippines,” he said.
For his part, Deputy Director for Operation Division of Narcotics Control Commission Shen Yu said the coordination is a response to the agreement and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) during President Rodrigo Duterte’s four-day state visit to Beijing in October.
The MOU supports the Philippine government’s efforts in fighting against illicit drugs.
The BOC, aside from its primary function of collecting duties and taxes on imported article, is also responsible for keeping all ports of entry free from smuggling in any forms.