Lawmakers seek stronger rules on delivery services

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THE HOUSE Committee on Dangerous Drugs is pushing for stronger rules on deliveries made by drivers of transport network vehicle services (TNVS) in wake of recent cases of illegal drugs being sent through such means.

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“It seems that the drug traffickers are being bolder and bolder, [becoming]ingenious. They’ve been using the Internet, they’ve been using the TNVS [and other means to deliver drugs to buyers],” Rep. Robert Ace Barbers of Surigao del Norte said on Wednesday.

Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento proposed to write a letter to the TNVS to cease their door-to-door deliveries to prevent further cases of drug trafficking.

“From now on, nobody should be allowed to tell these drivers to carry a package from one point to another because these [vehicles]are designed to carry passengers, not [to serve]as mail couriers,” Sarmiento said.

Negros Oriental Rep. Arnulfo Teves Jr. said it would be difficult to catch the sources of the illegal drugs especially when they use fake accounts for their transactions.

“[None of the authorities can file any case against you because your account cannot be traced to any individual, institution or corporation],” Teves said.

Last year, he filed House Bill 4093, or the Online and Social Media Membership Accountability Act, which seeks to eradicate the prevalence of fake online and social media accounts by mandating their authentication through registration of the accounts using government-issued identification or barangay (village) certificates.

Barbers also proposed to regulate the use of private planes and helicopters, also in wake of reports of drug traffickers using these aircraft to transport drugs.

He cited the case of the late Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar who used private planes to smuggle illegal drugs out of Colombia and Mexico.

“[We should have control, strict control, on private aircraft. In fact, there is no PDEA presence on private hangars. If they (drug traffickers) will put drugs on private planes, nobody can check],” Barbers said, referring to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

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