Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on Thursday asked the government to hire more policemen to combat the crime surge and stop terrorists dead on their tracks.
If the nation will be hiring 18,083 politicos to fill local and national positions in May 9, then why can’t it hire the same number of additional policemen?” Recto asked.
Fielding more policemen would require the PNP to step up its recruitment drive and the Department of Budget and Management to speedily approve PNP request for funds for personnel positions.
“In recruiting, government should widen its information drive to reach as many interested applicants as possible. There should be a recruitment roadshow targeting schools. And in order to boost the passing rate in qualifying tests, the PNP may have to offer free review classes to state colleges,” he said.
According to the reelectionist senator, the government is spending P6.8 billion to organize an election which is basically a recruitment event for 18,000- plus vacant positions.
“And yet there seems to be a lack of a national drive to entice qualified young men and women to join the understaffed Philippine National Police [PNP],” Recto said.
For 2016, the Comelec has a budget of P16 billion for voting machines and the holding of two national elections, the second one in October for barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan posts.
He cited the case of certain towns which would choose 10 elective officials this May, “when for many of the residents of these places, what they badly want are 10 additional cops.”
While filling 18,083 elective posts every three years is a “national obligation,” wiping out the backlog in needed police officers is not.
Recto said there are 23,820 vacant positions in the PNP roster as only 150,590 out of the 174,410 “authorized uniformed personnel positions” are occupied.
If the vacancies are filled and distributed equally among local governments nationwide, each of the 1,489 towns will get an additional 12 policemen, and each of the 145 cites will get 41 more, Recto said.
“This is a rough estimate,” Recto said, explaining that there is a formula in assigning policemen. “But just by using the average, it is clear that each town and city will get a tremendous boost in the number of police personnel if the vacancies are filled.”
Every day, 28 women or children are raped, 34 hapless Filipinos are killed and 352 others fall victim to robbery. Yet, 23,820 vacant positions for policemen remain unfilled, Recto said.
Last year, rape cases reported to the police and other law enforcement agencies reached 10,298, up from 9,887 in 2014,.
There were 128,389 cases of robbery, theft, carnapping and cattle-rustling last year.