SECURITY measures in all seaports in Negros Occidental are intensified following the recovery of P72 million worth of drugs in a drug bust at San Carlos City on Wednesday, August 8.
Lieutenant Commander Lodovico Librilla, newly designated head of Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Negros Occidental, said Thursday, August 9, they were directed by the regional office to level up their security measures in all ports.
Read: P72-M shabu seized in Negros Occidental drug bust, 3 suspects escape
Earlier, Senior Superintendent Rodolfo Castil Jr., director of Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo), said that the province is considered a “transshipment area” because of the different entry points “but it is not a source of illegal drugs.
For his part, Senior Superintendent Francisco Ebreo, acting director of Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), said there should be a whole of nation approach to ensure that no drugs will enter or exit through ports.
“We lack resources, including manpower and security measures," he said.
Ebreo said it would be better if there's x-ray scanner or more K9 units that can be utilized 24 hours for tightened security.
Librilla, meanwhile, said the PCG is now on full alert as they intensify their security and also maximize the deployment of their personnel.
Librilla said 20 personnel were augmented by PCG from Dumaguete City to Bacolod City and Negros Occidental even before the said drug haul.
This augmentation personnel was deployed in different ports in the province to ensure that no contrabands can enter the province.
However, despite the existing security measures, Librilla said there is still need for additional manpower and equipment to easily detect contents of items being transported.
Librilla said they also tapped PCG auxiliaries to help the coast guard personnel in maritime patrol and inspection of passengers, baggage, and other transported items through ports.
He said additional personnel and equipment will depend on the assessment of the higher office but he already requested for it.
At present, PCG has 92 personnel and 13 substations in the province. They also have K9 dogs.