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Bill seeking to institutionalize modernization of PNP filed

Christina Mendez - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Jinggoy Estrada filed a bill that would institutionalize the modernization of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and boost its operational capability against terrorism.

Estrada’s Senate Bill 360 seeks to promote and utilize multi-lateral exchange of information with other police organizations and to improve PNP’s capabilities to deal with terrorist activities and prepare and respond to all types of disaster and national emergencies.

In the area of maritime patrol, the proposed PNP Modernization Act targets to beef up equipment in the campaign against illegal fishing, piracy, smuggling, and trafficking of contraband through the country’s borders.

The measure also provides for the acquisition and upgrading of modest air transport capabilities for the police force.

“This will necessitate the acquisition of multi-role aircraft to function on public order and safety services such as observation, surveillance evacuation, and detection, among others,” SB 360 reads.

The PNP Modernization Program shall be implemented over a period of five years after approval of the law. The interior secretary will administer the program.

Estrada proposed that the funds to be appropriated for the PNP Modernization Program be treated as “distinct and separate budget item” from the regular budget appropriations for the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the PNP.

Under the proposed 2014 budget, the Office of the Interior and Local Government Secretary has a total agency budget of P9.539 billion while the PNP has P71.945 billion.

“There is a need to modernize the PNP, transforming it into an organization at par with the world’s best. This can be achieved by having a PNP that is well-equipped, well-trained and pro-active to the demands of modern society,” Estrada said in the explanatory note of SB 360.

“Thus, this measure will basically lay down the framework for the modernization of the Philippine National Police and will focus on several aspects such as organization development, crime prevention and control doctrines development, human resource development, internal security and counterinsurgency capability development,” he added.

P2.8 B for PNP capability enhancement

Currently, the Department of Budget and Management has released P2.8 billion for PNP capability enhancement.

Senior Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac, chief of PNP Public Information Office, said the budget would help improve capability in terms of equipage and hiring of additional personnel.

He also assured the public that the budget would be used properly, similar to the rigid procurement of brand new 74,879 units of 9mm-Glock 17 Generation 4 worth P1.198 billion.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, for his part, said the allocation would enhance the capability of the country’s police force to prevent crime nationwide.

“This latest release will support and better capacitate our police force, allowing us to safeguard our people and make our crime prevention efforts more strategic and efficient,” Abad said.

– With Cecille Suerte Felipe

BUDGET

BUDGET SECRETARY FLORENCIO ABAD

DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT

JINGGOY ESTRADA

MODERNIZATION ACT

MODERNIZATION PROGRAM

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE

PNP

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