TACLOBAN CITY, Dec. 2 (PNA) — Five satellite offices of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will open in Eastern Visayas before the end of the year to boost the government’s campaign against illegal drugs in the region.

Construction is ongoing for field offices in provincial capitals and commercial district in Biliran, Northern Samar, Leyte, Eastern Samar and the new regional office in this city. Earlier, the agency formally opened its field offices in Samar and Southern Leyte provinces.

Alex Tablate, chief of PDEA regional operations division, said their expansion is a collaborative effort of the regional office and local government units to reduce inconveniences to clients in getting documents and services.

“We saw the need of these extension offices especially to the law enforcement agencies in getting certificates of coordination. Through this, we can have accessible communication and take quick actions. This will help in demand and supply reduction and performance of regulatory function of PDEA in the region,” Tablate said.

For most provinces in the region, law enforcers have to travel to the regional capital to get the document for anti-drug operations.

Satellite offices are designed to assist in gathering information, conduct anti-illegal drugs operations, and accept applications for licensing of pharmacists and doctors who sell regulated drugs.

Currently, PDEA rents an apartment at the city’s Marasbaras district for Php35,000 monthly as their regional office. Next year, a Php26-million new regional office will rise in this city.

The new building here will be funded through a Php1.5 billion budget next year for the expansion and modernization of PDEA field offices nationwide. (PNA) JBP/SQM/Ana Rose D. Cinco (OJT)