By Chito Chavez
The National Police Commission (Napolcom) has issued new guidelines in the hiring of qualified police officers for lateral entry positions in line and technical vacancies at the Philippine National Police (PNP) to professionalize the force.
Napolcom Vice-Chairman and Executive Officer (CEO) Rogelio T. Casurao said Memorandum Circular No. 2018-002 aims to select and recruit the most qualified applicants with the rank of Police Inspector and Police Senior Inspector.
The directive intends to establish a system that strictly observes the rule of merit and fitness and the principle of equal opportunity.
One of the salient provisions of the Circular is the prescribed general qualification for line service officers who perform essential and purely police functions, such as law enforcement, crime prevention and investigation, intelligence, internal security operations, and related administrative work.
The position now requires a licensed criminologist or other professions that may be determined by law.
Casurao noted that PNP applicants should have a rank of at least Police Officer III (PO3), able to meet the general qualifications on the day of the Written Competitive Examination (WCE), and must have passed two recent Physical Fitness Test (PFT).
On the other hand, Technical Service Officers are those who were commissioned to the PNP through lateral entry by virtue of their special technical skills and competencies.
These include dentists, optometrists, nurses, engineers, criminologists, graduates of forensic sciences, doctor of medicine, lawyers, chaplains, information technologists, pilots, psychologists or other profession falling under the same classification as determined and recommended by the PNP Chief and approved by the Napolcom.
Aside from the PNP non-uniformed personnel (NUP) and civilian applicants, PNP personnel with the rank of Police Officer I (PO1) with at least three years of police service who meet the general qualifications on the day of the WCE and who have passed the two recent PFT may also apply.
Casurao said qualified police personnel shall be considered for both line and technical service positions while NUP and civilian applicants shall only be considered for technical service positions.
The maximum age for NUP and PNP applicants shall be 46 years old while civilian applicants must not be more than 30 years old, and must be at least 1.62 meters in height for male and 1.57 meters in height for female.
The circular also provides guidelines in the lateral entry program boards and screening committees.
Casurao disclosed that the presence of the board chairman and Napolcom representative is required to constitute a quorum of the Lateral Entry Board.
“In no case shall the procedure in the processing of applicants for lateral entry be conducted without the presence of a Napolcom representative,” he stressed.
Casuraosaid MC 2018-002 was issued after the commission found the need to come up with a new policy in the recruitment of Police Commissioned Officers (PCOs) via lateral entry.
“The amended policy provides a uniform standard in the implementation of recruitment and selection procedures to ensure that all appointments are in accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations,” Casuraoadded.
Lately, more police officers were found to be involved in nefarious and corrupt activities prompting an urgent need for a stricter recruitment program.
Earlier, the commission declared family problems as one of the major factors why policemen engage in illegal activities.
Casuraonoted this is especially true with cops involved in illegal drugs.
If a policeman gets involved in an illegal activity, Casurao noted it is somehow because of a family problem saying most of the policemen involved in illegal drugs have family issues.
The Napolcom chief said despite the training and screening, misfits with dysfunctional families have joined the ranks, their personal issues manifesting itself in the course of public service.
Casurao said the PNP must also provide psychological support to policemen to help them cope with their woes and prevent them from engaging in illicit activities.