Cayetano vows to push for a package of initiatives to modernize the PNP and sustain internal reforms
A two-pronged approach has been proposed by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano to sustain the initial successes of the four-month war on drugs of the Duterte administration.
“The modernization of the PNP entails adequate investment in its infrastructure and crime-fighting equipment and development of a service-oriented culture among its ranks based on integrity and love for country,” Cayetano explained.
“While the PNP is purging its internal organization of scalawags and crooks, we need to recruit and train more men and women with better pay to combat crime since they face risks and dangers everyday,” he added.
Cayetano filed Senate Bill No. 71, also known as the Philippine National Police Compensation Act of 2016, that seeks to increase the minimum base pay and allowances of PNP personnel, allowing the lowest ranking police officer to receive a gross minimum pay of P50,530 per month, inclusive of benefits and allowances.
The senator warned that unless Congress acts on the pending bills to significantly increase the compensation and incentives for the police officers and soldiers, they remain vulnerable to crime syndicates, particularly drug lords.
Cayetano also lamented that while crime syndicates continue to be innovative in promoting their illegal activities, our police are left with piecemeal budgets to improve their capacity to maintain peace and order.
The senator said to fast track the effectiveness of the police organization, help through foreign assisted projects, legislation, supplemental budget, and private sector partnership should be explored.
He said there are international organizations and trade partners that are willing to help the President’s war on drugs.
Additional funds for PNP equipment
Cayetano underscored the opportunity to start the modernization process for the PNP through the 2017 national budget.
“The budget for the PNP should be in line with the Capability Enhancement Program of the President,” he said.
He pointed out that the proposed PNP budget for 2017 is P136.3 billion, 20 percent higher than the current year’s budget, but the entire capital outlay budget that includes the construction of police stations decreased by P450.2 million.
Cayetano said it’s bad enough that the proposed funds could barely meet the minimum standard to cope with the state’s enemies that use far more modern communications equipment and high-powered firearms.
The PNP already sought the support of Congress for the augmentation of its funds to sustain the conduct of Oplan Double Barrel, construct police stations, and procure modern equipment for its crime laboratories.
The senator stressed the urgency of providing the PNP with state of the art equipment for the crime laboratories around the country in order to expedite the investigation process and, subsequently, strengthen the government’s crime-prevention and crime suppression program.
“Only through a sustainable modernization program for PNP will we be able to realize the promise of real change, the kind of change that our people expect from our new government,” Cayetano said.