The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is strengthening its organizational structure and beefing up the number of its personnel to boost its readiness in the war on drugs in the country.
PDEA Director General Isidro Lapeña said a newly-approved Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Resolution has created an additional 1,280 regular plantilla positions for PDEA personnel and led to the adoption of necessary modifications in the organizational set-up of the agency, particularly in the field of intelligence and investigation.
“The approved modifications in the organizational structure and staffing pattern of PDEA will be endorsed to the Department of Budget and Management for appropriate and immediate action,” he said.
“In cognizant of the challenges posed by the enormity of the country’s drug problem and the suspension of the conduct of anti-drug operations by other law enforcement agencies, PDEA has to carry the brunt of all anti-drug operations all over the country. The situation prompted us to strengthen our organizational structure,” Lapeña added.
PDEA has limited workforce of 2,271 regular-plantilla positions of personnel presently deployed in its national services and regional offices nationwide. Out of these are 1,274 Drug Enforcement Officers or DEOs, who serve as front liners in the government’s anti-drug campaign, 761 are administrative personnel and 236 are technical personnel.
“The approval of the DDB Resolution means that an additional 1,280 warm and able bodies will be joining our roster as PDEA braces for a tough grind ahead,” Lapeña said.
The resolution also led to the creation of a new PDEA Counter-Intelligence Service that will have three Divisions: Internal Counter-Intelligence; External Counter-Intelligence; and Security Division, to be manned by 24 personnel. The existing Counter-Intelligence and Security Division of the PDEA Intelligence and Investigation Service will be replaced by Financial Investigation Division (FID) to be occupied by 11 personnel.
“The newly-formed FID will strengthen our efforts against suspected money launderers, particularly drug syndicates, who ‘wash’ their illegal drug transactions and proceeds being routed through banks and other regulated entities,” Lapeña noted.
In addition, the DDB Resolution also led to the renaming of the Maritime Drug Enforcement Coordinating Center of the PDEA-IIS to Technical Operations Support Division (TOSD).
Lapeña said that the TOSD will assume new functions that are not only limited to maritime drug enforcement but also the technical support mechanisms to all types of operations, in particular on intelligence-related support.
“It is all about doing more with less. These changes will make PDEA sufficiently equipped and numerically upgraded to wage an all-out war against illegal drugs,” the PDEA chief said.