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PDEA signs MOA with Lazada, Shopee to end smuggling of contrabands

December 7, 2021 Jun I. Legaspi 313 views

THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with local E-commerce (electronic commerce) giants Lazada E-Services Philippines Inc and Shopee Philippines Inc., Tuesday 2021 at the PDEA National Headquarters in Quezon City.

PDEA had long seen the vulnerability of the country’s mail and parcel system to smuggling contraband such as illegal drugs, and the Agency had successfully conducted more than 100 mail and parcel interdiction operations and seized millions of pesos worth of illegal drugs from 2013 to 2017. The popularity of E-commerce – the buying and selling of goods and services through internet-based platforms – further boosted the demand for courier services.

In August 2020, twelve kilograms of shabu worth P81.6 million was seized in a courier service’s regional headquarters in Mandaue City, Cebu: large seizures of illegal drugs such as this, and the admission of several arrested suspects to using delivery apps to transport illegal drugs reinforced PDEA’s resolve to prevent the abuse of E-commerce platforms and courier services by drug traffickers.

PDEA rapidly marshalled the cooperation of E-commerce companies and courier services: a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed with courier service Lalamove Philippines Inc and Lala App Philippines Inc in November 24, 2020; a similar agreement was forged with courier service J&T Express in December 2020; and another MOA was signed with Wallstreet Courier Services Incorporated-popularly known as Ninja Van- in June 2021.

The MOU with Lazada and Shopee – two household names for e-commerce in the Philippines – is the latest measure implemented by PDEA in ensuring that drug traffickers will not be able to take advantage of Information and Communications Technology (ICTs) and linked courier services.