US trains Bureau of Customs personnel on effective port screening

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 09 2017 11:12 AM

US Export Control and Related Border Security Program Advisor Joyce Gouge turns over personal radiation detectors to Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña on December 4, 2017, the start of a US-led five-day training of Philippine customs personnel on effective port screening. Handout

MANILA - Customs and border security agencies of the United States this week held a 5-day training for personnel of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and donated equipment in a bid to boost port screening in the Philippines, the US Embassy said Saturday. 

The US Export Control and Related Border Security Program (EXBS) and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) trained 21 BOC personnel from 10 seaports across the country in inspection and data collection. 

The customs officers participated in lectures and field exercises that "focused on the effective use of cargo scanning through a multilayered targeting strategy, including advanced data collection, automated targeting systems, and detection technologies," the embassy said.

"EXBS will continue to engage with and support the BOC in advanced data collection and the eventual implementation of an automated targeting system," the embassy said.

The US also donated 20 personal radiation detectors worth P1.5 million to help improve port screening.

"The small hand-held devices will help customs officials to better detect nuclear and radioactive materials," the embassy said.

The training, held from December 4 to 8, came months after controversy surrounded the BOC over a P6.4-billion drug shipment that slipped past the Manila port in May. 

The incident triggered congressional inquiries and exposed alleged corruption at the bureau.