By Genalyn Kabiling, Aaron Recuenco, and Mario Casayuran
The training of police recruits will now be under the supervision and control of the Philippine National Police (PNP) based on a new law signed by President Duterte.
Republic Act No. 11279, signed last April 12, has transferred the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) and National Police Training Institute (NPTI) to the PNP from the Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC).
The law amended provision of Republic Act No. 6975, also known as the Department of Interior and Local Governments Act, to facilitate the transfer of PNPA and NPTI supervision.
“To better achieve the goals of a highly efficient and competent police force, the Philippine National Police shall have administrative and operational supervision and control over the Philippine National Police Academy established pursuant to Section 13 of Presidential Decree No. 1184 and the National Police Training Institute formerly known as the Philippine National Training Center,” the law read.
Prior to the passage of the law, the PPSC has been responsible for the training, human resource development, and education of all personnel of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP). It also provides select mandatory career courses for police commissioned officers and specialized courses for PNP personnel.
Under the law, the PNPA, the premier institution for police education, will be under the direct supervision and control of the PNP Chief.
To ensure smooth transition, the PNP chief must submit a revised table of organization, equipment, and staffing pattern of the PNPA and NPTI to the National Police Commission and the Department of Budget and Management for approval within 120 days from effectivity of the law. The table may include reorganization and renaming of existing PNP training offices and unit and the realignment of functions as necessary.
The supervision and control over the NPTI, which is responsible for the mandatory and leadership training of all police non-commissioned officers, shall be established in the revised table of organization.
The personnel and all properties, equipment, funds, liabilities and other assets of the PNPA and NPTI are also transferred to the PNP. The concerned personnel will be transferred from the PPSC to the PNP and continue to perform their duties and responsibilities and receive their corresponding salaries and benefits.
The National Police Commission, in coordination with the PNP, PPSC, and DILG, have been directed to promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to implement provisions of the law.
Senator Panfilo M. Lacson said Thursday he expects the Philippine National Police (PNP) to build a physically and morally competent force after President Duterte signed into law the transfer of the training of police recruits to the direct supervision of the PNP chief.
The measure, he said, also seeks to beef up the internal cleansing efforts of the PNP. Lacson was PNP chief during the administration of former President Joseph Estrada.
“With the transfer to the PNP of the training of police recruits, we can strengthen the foundation of a competent police force not just physically but also morally,” Lacson said.
“By delegating the training of recruits to individuals who are bereft of intellectual, physical and most importantly, moral competence, we do not only weaken the enforcement of the law; we also invite scorn and contempt for our national police force,” Lacson stressed.
Citing his personal experience as Chief PNP, Lacson said a police officer should have a deep understanding of the law, physical strength and fitness, knowledge of and facility with firearms, and the justified use of force — be it lethal or non-lethal.
But more importantly, he said a police officer “should stand firm against various tests of endurance; not just of physical, but oftentimes, of moral strength.”
“I feel the pain of having the name of the institution I once served with pride, dignity, and honor being dragged through the mire by police scalawags. Amid these anomalies that spark public outrage, we see clearly the lapses in the recruitment and education of our police officers – phases that make up the formative stage of becoming a law enforcer,” he said.
“By instituting reforms in the current system, we are strengthening the foundation of a highly efficient, effective and competent police force,” he added.
No more excuses
PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said Congress’ approval and the President’s signing of the measure into a law is positive development in terms of professionalizing the national police organization.
“We will have no more reasons if our policemen become abusive. There will be no more excuses for us,” said Albayalde.
“It is now on us whatever the outcome of the officers we produce now that the training program is now under us. We can no longer blame anybody or any institution,” said Albayalde.
“The responsibility really now lies on us. No more excuses on the quality of officers we produce especially from the Academy (PNPA),” said Albayalde.