23 AUGUST 2023, MANILA — Standing firm on its fight against illegal drugs, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) ensures strict implementation of protocols to guarantee drug-free operations at ports which led to the apprehension of a passenger who allegedly dropped a tube of Marijuana during baggage inspection at Lucena Port on August 12, 2023.
According to PPA General Manager Jay Santiago, the agency has been intensifying its efforts in line with the whole of the government approach in fighting illegal drugs especially within its turf including port users and employees.
“We actually never stopped nor relented in our operation in enforcing our anti-illegal drug campaign that even during the height of the pandemic in the last two (2) years, PPA has continuously undertaken necessary measures to work hand-in-hand with PDEA and other government agencies for its successful execution,” PPA General Manager Jay Santiago said.
In 2020, PPA entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) for the construction of a K9 Academy in Clark, Pampanga which in return, shall ensure the provision of K9 units with narcotics and explosive detection capabilities at ports under its jurisdiction.
“The PCG-PPA K9 Academy situated in Clark Pampanga is now nearing its completion with 70.68% accomplishment rate to which we provided funding in exchange for more secure operations at ports to be offered by the trained dogs in the facility,” GM Santiago added.
Aside from the thorough conduct of baggage inspection at ports, PPA also works closely with PDEA for the provision of necessary anti-illegal drug capability activities for its frontline workers particularly its Port Police officers through its Basic Port Police Course, in a bid to step up its capacity in intercepting passengers trying to sneak illegal drugs at ports.
In support of the initiative, the Port Management Office of Davao recently conducted a drug awareness symposium in partnership with PDEA and attended by its personnel on August 11, 2023, aiming to raise awareness on the negative effects of illegal drugs to mental and physical health. Same activity was likewise initiated in PMO Misamis Occidental Ozamiz on June 20, 2023.
Further, PPA ensures the regular administration of surprise drug testing to its employees to maintain a drug-free workforce as it moves forward in attaining its vision toward the provision of services and facilities at par with global standards. ###