PCG says number of working K9 dogs increased to more than 700 percent

July 20, 2010 9:00 pm 

MANILA, July 20 –In response to earlier issues over alleged irregularities in the Philippine Coast Guard K9, an official said the Commission on Audit Memo dated March, 2010 has already been clarified as there is only a need to update the book of inventory to reflect the increase in the number of workings dogs to more than 700 percent.

Commander Allen Dalangin, the Commander of Coast Guard K9, said of the 114 dogs as of December 2009 inventory, only 24 were procured through the funds provided by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) when the k9 unit was activated in the PCG last 2002.

The 90 additional dogs were acquired through donations from various volunteers such as the PCGA, PCG officers, shipping, and some friends of the Coast Guard who wanted their pets to be more useful.

Others are offsprings of the donated dogs through the breeding or self-reliance program of the unit. In the said COA memo, the PCG was actually lauded or commended for its successful conduct of in-house training for both the handlers and the detection dogs.

At present, the Coast Guard K9 has 29 Detachments strategically located in busy ports and terminals, tourist spots such as Boracay, and other critical maritime infrastructures in the country.

The presence of Coast Guard K9 in various ports and terminals was proven very effective in deterring acts of terrorism and suppression of illegal drugs. Since its activation in 2002, the Coast Guard K9 was able to stop several attempts of transport of illegal drugs, firearms, ammunitions, and improvised explosive devices on board passenger vessels.

Among the notable accomplishments of the Coast Guard K9 were the confiscation of blasting caps in Batangas port, marijuana in Boracay port, shabu at the Eva Macapagal Terminal, firearms in Batangas port, and the discovery of improvised explosive devise (IED) on board a Ro-Ro vessel in Lucena last year.

Realizing the usefulness and importance of K9’s, the shipping industry and the maritime sector are continuously requesting for the deployment of K9’s in their respective ports and terminals.

It is for this reason that the Coast Guard K9 continuously trains more detection dogs to make the country’s ports and terminals more safe and secure.

Aside from the regular duties being performed at respective ports, the PCG K9 is also active in supporting the operations of other agencies such as the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (PNP AIDSOTF).

At present, a joint operation with the PNP AIDSOTF is being conducted in the provinces of Eastern and Northern Samar. The PCG recently deployed 15 handlers with seven narcotic detection dogs and two explosive detection dogs in the said provinces to support the joint operation.

The joint operation started last Saturday, and in just three days, a total of 14 kg of cocaine with estimated value of 70 million pesos were recovered from the municipalities of Borongan, San Policarpio, and Maydulong, all Eastern Samar towns. The joint operatives of the Coast Guard K9 and the PNP AIDSOTF are still scouring the coastal towns of the said provinces to locate the still unaccounted 1.5 tons of cocaine that was reportedly dumped by a Chinese vessel sometime December 2009.

Indeed, the relentless effort of the Coast Guard K9 to increase its working dogs is a laudable one. (PNA) LOR/JES

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