By Aaron Recuenco
President Duterte has been taking care of the Philippine National Police (PNP) as he fulfilled its promise on increasing the salary of lawmen and even tripling its budget for modernization.
From the annual P2 billion Capability Enhancement Program (CEP), PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said Duterte is now giving the police force P5 to P6 billion a year.
“He is giving us more than what he promised actually,” said Albayalde.
Albayalde said the PNP upgrade fund is now being used for the procurement of equipment to further improve the operational capability of the police force.
Aside from guns and vehicles, Albayalde said they were also able to obtain a helicopter and is expected to buy a fixed wing plane that will be used for the transport of members of the PNP’s elite Special Action Force (SAF) to any part of the country.
“The proofs are very tangible. On our mobile, you will see that we have plenty of brand new mobile vehicles. ON firearms, all of our mobile forces were provided with special weapons which make them capable in the conduct of internal security operations,” said Albayalde.
Aside from move, shoot and communicate capability, Albayalde said another assistance from the President is the go-signal from him to recruit more cops who would compose five battalions of SAF commandos.
“This separate from the regular recruitment of the PNP for this year which more than 17,000,” said Albayalde.
Earlier, lawmakers saw the need to recruit more cops amid the growing population of the country.
Ideally, the international standard for policeman to population ratio is one cop for every 500 citizen. In the Philippines, it is one policeman for every 700 lawmen.
Albayalde said the new recruitment is aimed at moving closer to the international standard.
On the other hand, the recruitment of more SAF commandos is in preparation for the assumption of internal security operations by the PNP from the military in Luzon and the Visayas.
The PNP is currently at the forefront of Duterte’s main platform, the war on drugs.