The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) works to keep Americans safe at home by countering international crime, illegal drugs, and instability abroad. INL helps countries deliver justice and fairness by strengthening their police, courts, and corrections systems. These efforts reduce the amount of crime and illegal drugs reaching U.S. shores.
Challenges: The United States and the Philippines are long-standing partners in promoting bilateral and regional cooperation on peace and security issues. The Philippines faces continuing challenges in combating transnational crime, including lengthy and porous maritime borders, which allow the trafficking of drugs, people, and illicit goods through and into the country. Corruption is endemic and serves as a drag on the economy. The Philippines also faces challenges in enforcing human rights. Despite reform efforts, the justice sector struggles to effectively and quickly resolve criminal cases.
Goals: INL is committed to strengthening the overall capacity of Philippine justice and law enforcement institutions. INL programs work to build capacity on maritime law enforcement, promote justice sector reform, professionalize police training, and reduce demand for illegal drugs. INL is partnering with the U.S. Coast Guard to build Philippine Coast Guard capabilities to patrol Philippine waters and combat transnational crime. INL also partners with DOJ and non-governmental organizations to promote access to justice, respect for human rights, and accountability for human rights violations. INL engages with government, civil society, and international partners to improve drug prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and recovery policies, programs, and services. INL implements evidence-based programs to support drug treatment and prevention services.
Accomplishments: INL partnered with the International Development Law Organization to build the capacity of prosecutors at the Department of Justice, the Office of the Ombudsman, and the Anti-Money Laundering Council to combat corruption, cybercrime, money laundering, and other forms of transnational crime. INL has also worked with the Supreme Court to institutionalize legal aid clinics in the country. Under the maritime law enforcement program, INL and the U.S. Coast Guard have partnered to develop Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) technical expertise through in-resident training of PCG personnel in the United States and mobile training team visits in the Philippines. Ongoing infrastructure projects will help apply this technical expertise within PCG-led training facilities that are starting operations in 2020. Similarly, INL has partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to enhance Philippine capability to counter illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing by conducting IUU fishing training workshops with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). Under the drug demand reduction program, INL supported the creation of the Association of Anti-Drug Abuse Coalitions of the Philippines, which advocates for drug-free communities. Recently, INL supported the development of an evidence-based media drug prevention campaign and facilitated specialized trainings to provide Philippine law enforcement personnel with an evidence-based, public health approach to counter the use of illicit drugs.