THE Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Bacolod City has intensified its security measures after a couple from Silay City, Negros Occidental was intercepted transporting P18 million worth drugs at Dumangas port in Iloilo Sunday night.
The suspects, Jose Alberto Pinaga and common-law wife Maebelle Belmonte, were arrested following a drug bust that led authorities to a large volume of drugs detected by a K-9 dog of the Coast Guard inside their white pick-up truck bound for Negros Occidental.
They are now facing drug charges.
Lieutenant Senior Grade Jimmy Vingno, head of PCG-Bacolod, said they have increased the security in ports all over the province to ensure that any attempt to smuggle illegal contraband will be thwarted.
They are enhancing the capability of their personnel through further training, he said.
Vingno said the additional personnel from the 5,000 Coast Guard recruits are expected to be detailed in the local stations soon, which could also augment their security operations.
Additional K-9 dogs trained for bomb and narcotics detection will be stationed in Negros Island this year, he said.
Vingno said distribution of drugs can be anywhere so they rely on intelligence report and K-9 dogs for detection of illegal contraband.
He said there is a close inter-agency coordination in terms of operations.
The Coast Guard recently installed a new district headquarters in Negros Occidental to intensify its security presence in southern Visayas.
A radar station in Bacolod will also be set-up in the future to intensify monitoring like disasters and law operations.