The Philippine National Police (PNP) has started facilitating the re-assignments of its personnel to either their places of residence or the nearest areas from their homes in a bid to give policemen more time with their families.
Gen. Camilo Pancratius Cascolan, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said the move is part of the PNP Localization Program which is aimed at placing all policemen closer to their own respective communities.
“The program is the PNP leadership’s way to boost their morale and to tell police officers to do their best in performing their duty as law enforcers in their respective communities,” said Cascolan.
“This will attain maximum efficiency and more effective law enforcement by prioritizing the welfare of every PNP personnel and reinforcing family solidarity,” he added.
The program, however, created confusion especially among the mayors of Metro Manila who immediately expressed alarm that it would lead to decrease of policemen manning the streets of the National Capital Region since Metro Manila cops would be moved to the provinces.
Cascolan emphasized that the deployment of Metro Manila policemen will only be done if there are replacements, or other policemen from the provinces who are either residents of the NCR or willing to be assigned to the metropolis.
He explained that the Localization of Assignment program, initiated by the Directorate for Personnel and Records Management (DPRM), is stipulated in Section 63 of Republic Act 8551 or the Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998.
The law indicates the provision for PNP members with the ranks of Patrolman/woman up to Police Executive Master Sergeant will be “assigned to the city and municipality of their recruitment and/or place of residence or if not possible, to the closest municipality, province or regions to his residence.”
“Assignment to one’s hometown, province or region gives a police officer the sense of ownership of the locality that he represents. The said program will attain maximum efficiency and more effective law enforcement by prioritizing the welfare of every PNP personnel and reinforcing family solidarity,” said Cascolan.
PNP records revealed that a total of 8,561 personnel have signified intention to be reassigned in their places of residence, but the lists were cut down to 7,410 who qualified for the program.
Among reassignment requests, 4,742 personnel have signified to transfer to National Capital Region, 841 cops wanted to be reassigned to CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), 475 personnel to Central Luzon, and 475 cops wanted to go back to Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.
The rest of the regions got less than 200 localization requests.
Right now, Cascolan said they are processing the requests for the localization program and to fast-track their records for swapping of personnel.
But Cascolan said those who wanted to be transferred have to submit an affidavit of undertaking for the purpose.
“The applicant also must be cleared of money and property accountabilities from his present office or unit. Cancellation of local reassignment after the orders were issued will not be entertained,” said Cascolan.