To preserve the integrity and evidentiary value of pieces of drug evidence seized during anti-drug operations, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has improved the inventory and tracking system of its forensic laboratories and evidence storage facilities.

“PDEA, through its Laboratory Service, documents the movement of drug evidence using accountable forms and logbooks from the time of safekeeping until its destruction by virtue of a court order. The pieces of drug evidence are stored in the Evidence Room which is secured by locks and keys and closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras. The entry and exit of the Evidence Custodian to the room is also documented using logbooks,” said PDEA Director General Isidro S. Lapeña., explaining the regular process on the custody, disposition and safekeeping of dangerous drugs and paraphernalia after confiscation.

However, during PDEA’s 2nd ISO surveillance audit held last March 4, 2016, it was observed that there are redundancies of the entries required in the accountable forms which may cause erroneous data entry.

“This led to the amendment of certain sections of Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Regulation No. 10 Series of 2007 implementing the use of lesser number of forms that contain complete data entries. This will also reduce data errors in filling up many forms resulting to a more efficient and effective drug inventory and tracking system,” Lapeña added.

“We have reduced the number of forms to be accomplished from 16 to nine: Form A (Acknowledgement Receipt); Form B (Evidence Register Form); Form C (Chain of Custody Form); Form D (Chain of Custody Register Form); Form J (Stock Card Form); Form K (Stock Card Register Form); Form L (Withdrawal Slip); Form M (Withdrawal Slip Register Form); and Form O (Inventory Cut-Off Form). This eliminated the tedious accomplishments of unnecessary forms, where some are documented in duplicate and triplicate copies,” Lapeña noted.

“The objective of preserving the integrity of the drug evidence may still be achieved using less number of forms. The newly-improved tracking system would check the alleged pilferage of drug evidence because the documentation of its movement from the time of seizure, or turn over to safekeeping until destruction is strictly observed and enforced, and more importantly fast-tracked,” the PDEA chief said.

 # # #