A LEGISLATOR on Tuesday rejected as “unfair” the argument of the Philippine National Police against the hiring of a greater number of female officers.
“Our sense is, it is not fair to discourage the recruitment of more young women as police officers simply on account of the prospect of motherhood and pregnancy,” Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel said.
“We should not penalize young women and deprive them of the opportunity to serve just because we are concerned that some of them may have to go on a 105-day maternity leave,” Pimentel said.
Pimentel said a 105-day maternity leave made no difference in the context of 20 or 30 years of reliable and productive service.
“We do not have a quarrel with Camp Crame. This is merely a disagreement over future strategies and policies,” Pimentel said.
“We all want the PNP to succeed in its mission to enforce the law, prevent and control crimes, maintain peace and order, and ensure public safety and internal security with the active support of the community,” Pimentel said.
Pimentel earlier called for the doubling of the number of female officers in the PNP to 20 percent of all new recruits.
“Our proposal is to increase the number of women in the PNP to 15 percent of all new recruits over the next five years, and then to 20 percent over the five years thereafter,” Pimentel said.
At present, a 20-year-old law requires the PNP to allot to women at least 10 percent of its annual slots for new recruits.
Congress first mandated the minimum 10 percent requirement as well as the establishment of Women and Children Protection Desks in every police station in 1998, primarily to improve the “gender sensitivity” of the force.
At that time, there were too few women in the PNP that male officers ended up administering to women and children who were victims of rape and other forms of sexual abuse.
In the future, Pimentel also wants female officers to exclusively attend to women and children “at risk or who come into conflict with the law.”