Virtual Training on Outbreak Containment for Law Enforcement for the Philippines

26 February 2021 – The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) within the Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) concluded the Virtual Training on Outbreak Containment for Law Enforcement, with a focus on bioterrorism, for the Philippines. The event was closed by General Florentino Manalasatas Jr., Executive Director of the Anti-Terrorism Council Program Management Center of the Republic of the Philippines.

The four-days virtual training brought together representatives of a wide variety of agencies and entities, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Department of Public Health, the Bureau of Customs, the Bureau of Fire Protection, the National Bureau of Investigation, the National Intelligence Coordination Agency, the National Security Council, the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Cost Guard and the University of the Philippines - both Manila and the Philippines General Hospital.

This training was organized within the framework of the UNCCT programme on Preventing and Responding to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)/Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Terrorism. Participants had an opportunity to hear about global terrorism, biological agents weaponization, investigative challenges of bioterrorism, crime scene management, personal protective equipment, and decontamination, among other topics. Participants also engaged in exercises, case studies and facilitated discussions.

In his closing remarks General Manalasatas highlighted that “the current COVID-19 pandemic has taught us hard lessons. Leaders worldwide have encountered unprecedented challenges in keeping their citizens safe from the virus, enforcing public health orders, and keeping the economy afloat.” Subsequently, he further emphasized that “this capacity building has highlighted the significant role of public enforcement agencies in public health emergencies, from enforcing public health orders, for quarantines and travel restrictions, securing the perimeter of contaminated areas, securing health care facilities, investigating scenes of suspected biological terrorism, even up to protecting national stockpiles of vaccines and other medicines, law enforcement agencies are there, working hand in hand with medical professionals, our frontliners”.

UNOCT was established in June 2017 to provide leadership on the implementation of General Assembly counter-terrorism mandates, to enhance coordination and coherence, including through the Global Counter-Terrorism Compact, and to strengthen the delivery of the United Nations counter-terrorism capacity building assistance to Member States, including through the UNCCT. UNCCT remains committed to assisting Member States in preventing CBRN terrorist attacks and promoting inter-agency collaboration to ensure that prevention, detection, preparedness and response capabilities are firmly in place.