Police Regional Office 7 (Central Visayas) Director Brig. Gen. Roderick Augustus Alba (PNA file photo) 

MANILA – The Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), Cebu provincial government and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency - Region 7 (PDEA-7) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the creation of the One Cebu Inter-Agency Interdiction Task Force responsible for interdiction of illegal drugs, smuggling, human trafficking and terrorism within the province.

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, PRO-7 director Brig. Gen. Roderick Augustus Alba and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Region 7, along with the local and national government officials on Wednesday signed the MOA at the Old Gallery Capitol and launched the One Cebu Inter-Agency Interdiction Task Force.

The task force is an anti-drug unified group that would strengthen inter-agency collaboration and continuously curtail the entry and proliferation of illegal drugs in Central Visayas.

Alba said the proliferation of illegal drugs in almost all parts of the world is one of the most crucial problems, especially in the Philippines, which also affects the national security and the police force.

He added the Philippine National Police (PNP) sees the necessity to have continuous strategies to enhance drug awareness and drug abuse prevention in the country.

“One Cebu-Inter-Agency Interdiction Task Force (OC-IAITF) promotes inter-agency collaboration for greater efficiency in service delivery to improve the role definition of participating agencies and the quality of information exchange on the security of borders. It also aims to address the issues and concerns we have in our ports based on the current risk and threat assessment,” Alba said in a statement sent to Philippine News Agency (PNA).

He said it served as the premier forum within the regional system for devising strategies, and anti-criminality measures, identifying gaps in interdiction strategies and recommending remedial actions.

The task force’s work will be a decisive factor in the continued success of our campaign against illegal drugs not only in Cebu but for the whole of Central Visayas as well, he added.

He thanked the Cebu provincial government and the different local and national agency heads for the pouring of support bestowed on PRO-7.

“Team PNP Region 7 hopes to gain support as partners in crafting programs and activities that will translate into a strong partnership in intensifying border protection measures, making Central Visayas a drug-free island and a favorite and must-see tourist destination in the country,” Alba said. (PNA)