New boats launched for ‘most dangerous job’

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THE Bureau of Customs Port of Cebu and the bureau’s Water Patrol Division have sent three high-speed water patrol craft that can skim the waves at a top speed of 45 knots on first official patrol duty.

Port of Cebu District Collector Charlito Martin R. Mendoza and SP/Maj. Danielo Gonzales led the launching ceremony at Pier 5 of the Cebu International Port on May 4, 2022.

The boats that come with turbo-charged engines and a global positioning system will boost the bureau’s capacity to carry out maritime patrol and interdiction, the BOC said in a statement.

During the launching ceremony, Mendoza acknowledged the patrol officers of the bureau and its partner agencies who will use the boats for their duties, which he called “the most dangerous job in our agency.”

The speedboats will be used to strengthen anti-smuggling operations in Central Visayas, “especially against illegal drugs and environmental products,” the bureau said.

Central Visayas groups Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor provinces.

“We thank Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero, who, understanding the dangers of your job, has made it a priority in his term to upgrade the bureau’s equipment for protection, surveillance, patrolling, and with the ever-possible danger of encounter and resistance, for self-defense and arrests,” Collector Mendoza said.

Over the last three years, the bureau has also updated surveillance and detection protocols for land-based operations such as through the installation of x-ray machines and a trace detection system, improved profiling of shipments, and deployment of K9 patrol units in the warehouses and container yards, the BOC said.

On April 26, the Port of Cebu started using two units of Trace Detection System (TDS). One of the units is in the Subport of Mactan.

The TDS is a non-intrusive inspection machine used to detect explosives, narcotics and drug substances through the sampling of non-visible trace amounts of particulates in shipments or packages.

Shipments that show positive TDS results will be recommended for 100 percent physical examination and closer monitoring on country of origin for heightened profiling of shipments coming from that country, the bureau said. (CTL, PR)

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