MANILA — More than 2,000 applicants took the qualifying and neuro-psychological examinations to become a Drug Enforcement Officer (DEO) of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino said the applicants took the exams simultaneously on Sunday in four testing centers nationwide — Davao City for Mindanao applicants; Cebu City for Visayas applicants; Baguio City, and in Quezon City for Luzon applicants.
“Successful applicants who will pass the QNPE will comprise the Drug Enforcement Officers Basic Course (DEOBC) Class 2019-15. They will undergo a six-month resident and rigorous training at the PDEA Academy in Camp General Mariano Castañeda, Silang, Cavite,” Aquino said in a statement on Tuesday.
An applicant must be 21 to 35 years old, a graduate of any bachelor degree with second level eligibility for career service (Civil Service professional, board exam passer, or any examinations qualified by CSC under special laws).
The trainees will be honed to be the country’s premier agents in the anti-illegal drug campaign of the government.
The six-month training includes basic DEO knowledge (unit tactics, techniques and procedures), legal studies, anti-illegal drug intelligence and investigation, narcotics interdiction, and community-based anti-illegal advocacy.
The PDEA Academy is currently training 161 agent-trainees who belong to DEOBC Class 2018-13, who took their oath last August 28, 2018 and are expected to graduate this February 2019, while DEOBC Batch 2018-14, composed of 116 agent-trainees, started their training last November 29, 2018 and will become full-fledged PDEA agents by May 2019.
Recognizing the need to augment its workforce to address the immense drug problem of the country, PDEA hired and trained 542 DEOs in 2018. This is the largest recruitment of DEOs in the history of PDEA under the leadership of Aquino.
Apart from providing reinforcement to PDEA Regional Offices, Provincial Offices and District Offices of the National Capital Region (NCR), graduating agents will be deployed to monitor the country’s high-risk airports, 13 key seaports and 1,200 private seaports nationwide. They will be involved in close scrutiny of cargoes entering the country and will also sit beside X-ray technicians of the Bureau of Customs to help in the detection of smuggled illegal drugs.
The Senate has also approved an allocated of PHP200 million for the recruitment of additional 1,000 PDEA agents in 2019.
“PDEA has limited workforce. With the approved budget for recruitment of more agents, the agency will be able to face the tough grind in the war against illegal drugs. This will enhance our capability in addressing the drug menace which continues to be one of the most serious problems facing the country today,” the PDEA chief said. (PNA)