Close to 30 members of the water patrol division of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) have successfully completed boat operation training in a bid to complement the bureau’s capabilities against smuggling at-sea.
A total of 29 personnel from the bureau’s Enforcement and Security Service’s Water Patrol Division (ESS-WPD) completed the 25-day small boat operation and maintenance course on Aug. 13, the BOC said Monday, Aug. 16.
The nearly month-long course covered water patrol basic navigation, boat handling and maneuvering, as well as boat operations and maintenance.
The training was spearheaded by the Philippine Coast Guard Surface Support Force (PCG-SSF) and the bureau’s Interim Training and Development Division, ESS Director Felimon “Yogi” Ruiz said.
According to Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, the training aims to prepare personnel for the arrival of 20 fast boats which shall form the new water assets of the BOC.
The incoming boats will help the bureau in stopping smuggling incidents that take place at sea and bypass the country’s ports, including smuggling through the country’s backdoors.
“The ESS-WPD is now better equipped to secure the country’s borders,” Guerrero said, adding that the move is also part of the bureau’s modernization program.
In 2018, the BOC and PCG agreed to work together to intensify the country’s anti-smuggling operations by conducting various training and sharing of both watercraft resources and information.