THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has asked for an additional P900 million budget in 2018, which would include the purchase of 13 K9-unit dogs at P500,000 each.
“These canines, when properly trained and ably assisted by humans, can be inexpensive, low technology, but proven indispensable assets against the ongoing drug problem,” PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said in a press briefing on Thursday.
Aquino led the graduation ceremony on Thursday for 22 drug enforcement agents who just finished their 12-week training on basic handling of narcotics detection dogs.
“The 12-week course enabled the participants to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and techniques in handling narcotics detection drugs,” Aquino said.
According to Aquino, the agents also learned to acquaint themselves with scenarios that would require K9 operations and special tactics, including greyhound operations in prisons, checkpoint operations, and airport and seaport interdictions.
The PDEA K9-unit currently has 52 narcotics detection dogs, which includes 32 Belgian Malinoises, five Jack Russell Terriers, 11 Labrador Retrievers, two German Shepherds, and two Golden Retrievers.
There are 57 drug enforcement agents handling these dogs in 17 regions nationwide.
Aquino said the goal of the training of K-9 dogs was to familiarize them with illegal drugs.
Meanwhile, the agents were taught about the behavior of the dogs, the hazards, and the basics in airport and port operations.
San Jose del Monte City donated 1,000 square meters of land to PDEA as shelter for the narcotics dogs. RJ CARBONELL