The United States Export Control and Related Border Security Program (EXBS), in coordination with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), conducted an International Seaport Interdiction Training (ISIT) with Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) officers in Manila from December 4 to 8. Twenty-one BOC officials from ten seaports completed the training, which included operational exercises at the Port of Manila.
EXBS donated 20 personal radiation detectors to the BOC during the opening ceremony on December 4. The small hand-held devices will help customs officials to better detect nuclear and radioactive materials, and are valued at nearly P1.5 million. BOC Commissioner Isidro Lapeña was the guest of honor at the opening ceremony. US Department of Homeland Security Attaché Ransom Avilla made remarks, followed by EXBS Regional Advisor Joyce Gouge.
A team of officers from US CBP conducted the training, which focused on the effective use of cargo scanning through a multilayered targeting strategy, including advanced data collection, automated targeting systems, and detection technologies. Students received three days of classroom instruction in preparation for field exercises conducted on December 7. The field exercises focused on the use of non-intrusive inspections equipment, and students observed and analyzed cargo container scans as part of the exercise.
The ISIT builds on a previous training of BOC officials held at the Port of Charleston, South Carolina in June 2017. EXBS will continue to engage with and support the BOC in advanced data collection and the eventual implementation of an automated targeting system.