PDEA tightens watch for illegal drugs at airport terminals for ‘Undas’
With only a day before the celebration of “Undas” (All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day) the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has tightened its guard against illegal drugs at airport terminals nationwide.
Ruel Lasala, PDEA Deputy Director General for Operation, said they regularly check luggage in airport terminals as incidents of illegal drug transactions are expected to peak during holidays such as during “Undas.”
“Regularly [namin ginagawa] ito lang muna ang aming naisipang gawin for this coming Undas kasi sa Undas dumadami ang transaction ng droga pati ang Christmas at New Year,” Lasala told reporters at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 on Wednesday.
The PDEA also showed reporters their equipment to detect illegal drugs inside luggage such as the Trunarc and Detectachem handheld narcotics analyzers.
Gerald Javier of PDEA-NAIA said the Trunarc analyzer is equipped with a laser which is used to detect “liquid and powder items.”
Meanwhile, Javier said the Detectachem analyzer is used for swabbing and can detect a specific type of narcotic inside luggage such as shabu (crystal meth), cocaine and heroin.
Javier said these devices are efficient to use as there is no need to open the luggage for inspection.
In addition to the handheld analyzers, PDEA will also be using K9 units to inspect passenger baggage.
PDEA also started distributing to passengers leaflets containing information on drug abuse prevention and PDEA hotlines.
Assisting the PDEA in securing airport terminals are the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Customs, Airport Police Department, National Bureau of Investigation and the Office of the Transport Security. /muf
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