MANILA — The United States government has donated narcotics detection devices to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group (NAIA-IADITG) to bolster the drug interdiction capabilities of the country’s premier airports.
In a statement on Thursday, PDEA said that the donated hand-held devices will be able to conduct right on the scene drug test and detect up to a possible 370 illicit substances, even those placed outside of the container.
These devices will allow the inter-agency task force officers to easily identify if someone is handling an illegal substance prior to packing a suitcase or concealing drugs inside a container.
The turn-over of equipment and signing of deeds of donation was held at the NAIA Training Room, NAIA Terminal 3, Pasay City on Tuesday.
Present during the ceremony were PDEA Deputy Director General for Operations Ricardo C Quinto, representing PDEA Director General Isidro S Lapeña; Director Brandon A Hudspeth of the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) of the United States Embassy to the Philippines; and Mark O. Juvrud, US Drug Enforcement Administration Country Attache.
“The devices should act as strong deterrents against drug couriers in our major airports, particularly the NAIA, Clark International Airport and Mactan-Cebu International Airport,” Lapeña said.
Meanwhile, personnel from PDEA, the Philippine National Police-Police Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-PDEG), the PNP-Aviation Security Group, the Bureau of Immigration and NAIA were trained by the manufacturers for the handling, operation and maintenance of the devices.
“I would like to extend our profound gratitude to our counterparts from the USDEA, for their continued support to the national campaign against illegal drugs. The donated equipment will surely enhance the capabilities of the airport interdiction task force so that any attempts of illegal drug trafficking would be thwarted and never succeed,” the PDEA chief said. (PNA)