THE DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM (DoT) reinforces the protection of the country‘s tourist destinations against illicit substances thanks to the deployment of teams dedicated to drug-related issues.
In a statement released Wednesday, the DoT said it recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the police for the Tourism Protection Operation Against Illegal Drugs (TOP-AID). ).
“As part of the new TOP-AID… the parties agree to cooperate and provide assistance to provide increased protection, safety and security of tourists in tourist destinations identified by the DoT,” says the department.
“This latest partnership… is a sequel to the Tourist–Oriented policing program for community order and protection, tourism security force helping to maintain peace and order in high tourist traffic areas,” It said.
The tourism police program established in 2011 has trained 5,457 police officers and set up 365 assistance centers in strategic locations across the country.
With TOP-AID, similar help desks and appropriate drug enforcement agency staffing will be established.
“These tourist assistance and complaints offices will focus on drug-related issues. (PDEA) will also spearhead the drug-free work program information campaign, while assisting with customs clearance operations, including the arrest of anyone engaged in illegal drug activity in coordination with the PNP and government units. local authorities concerned,” said the DoT.
More tourists are expected to enter the Philippines from April 1 as the government further eases travel restrictions for fully vaccinated foreigners from all countries. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave