By Calvin Cordova
CEBU CITY – An organization like the Philippine National Police (PNP) is traditionally dominated by men.
But at the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO 7), several female officials hold key positions, and they are out to prove that they can do what their male counterparts can do, or even better.
In celebration of this year’s National Women’s Month, the PRO 7 showcased these female officials in an elaborate program at the Camp Sergio Osmeña last week.
“We want to show that the PRO 7 advocates women empowerment. Women can also be a good commander. They are not just for administrative functions. We want to show that they can also do the things that the male police officers do, and they can even do better,” said Chief Supt. Debold Sinas, director of PRO 7.
These officials include Sr. Supt. Royina Garma, chief of the Cebu City Police Office; Supt. Maribel Getigan, chief of the Danao City Police Station; Sr. Supt. Angela Rejano, director of the Siquijor Provincial Police Office; Supt. Emelie Santos, chief of the Bogo City Police Station; Supt. Janette Rafter, chief of the Toledo Police Station; Supt. Clarissa Gabutan, chief of the Carcar Police Station; and Supt. Catherine Ramos, chief of Tanjay City Police Station.
While policemen have the brute necessary in carrying out their functions, Sinas said there are several reasons why it is better to have female officials leading certain units.
“First, is the people’s impression towards women. They have this image that they are incorruptible. Unlike men, you don’t see them in drinking sessions,” Sinas said.
Sinas said having female officials gives assurance that administrative matters are taken care of.
“When you have lady police chief, the station is very clean. The toilets, the surroundings are clean,” said Sinas.
Garma said there are challenges in being a policewoman, including discrimination.
“We can feel it (discrimination). But that just motivates us to perform better,” said Garma.
Garma said the biggest challenge of being a policewoman was how to juggle responsibilities.
“We have to be a mother to our children and, at the same time, be a good leader of the organization. We don’t get to spend more time with our kids to the point that it surprises them when we are at home,” said Garma, who is from Davao City.
Rejano, for her part, said having a better work ethic was one of the advantages of lady police officers.
“We can do what our male counterparts can do but we are more meticulous. There are certain things that for male officers are already okay but for us, it is still not enough,” said Rejano.
PRO 7’s celebration of the National Women’s Month included a parade from the PRO 7 Headquarters, parlor games dubbed as Mini-Lympics: Palarong Pinoy and a boodle fight.