The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will set up six new additional forensic laboratories in different regional offices starting the second quarter of 2014.
PDEA Director General Undersecretary Arturo Cacdac Jr. said that six laboratories are expected to be completed before the year ends, fulfilling the targeted establishment of forensic laboratories in all PDEA regional offices.
The forensic laboratories are to be set up in PDEA Regional Office 4A (PDEA RO4A)) in Calamba, Laguna; PDEA Cordillera Administrative Region (PDEA CAR); PDEA Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); PDEA Regional Office 2 (PDEA RO2) in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan; PDEA Regional Office 3 (PDEA RO3) in San Fernando City, Pampanga and PDEA Regional Office 8 (PDEA RO8) in Palo, Leyte.
“Last year PDEA established 10 forensic laboratories that are now operational in 10 PDEA regional offices.” Cacdac said.
On February 24, 2014, PDEA inaugurated the forensic laboratory of PDEA Regional Office 9 (PDEA RO9) in Zamboanga City.
Cacdac also said that the PDEA RO 4A forensic laboratory to be inaugurated on March 25, 2014 is capable of conducting forensic examinations using Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC).
TLC is a chromatographic technique that is useful in separating organic compounds. Because of the simplicity and rapidity of TLC, it is often used to detect, identify and analyze various illegal substances and monitor the progress of organic reactions and to check the purity of dangerous drugs.
Meanwhile, four forensic laboratories in PDEA RO1 in La Union, PDEA RO7 in Cebu City, PDEA RO6 in Iloilo City, and PDEA RO11 in Davao City are capable of conducting qualitative and quantitative examination using Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometry (GCMS). GCMS is crucial in the conduct of confirmatory drug test to those who are tested positive in screening tests.
Forensic laboratories in PDEA RO4B (Mimaropa) and PDEA RO8, moreover, are capable of conducting drug tests using the Gas Chromatography Flame Ionization Detector, an instrument that measures the concentration and purity of confiscated dangerous drugs.