The Philippine National Police (PNP) is planning to deploy at least two policemen in every barangay across the country in a bid to beef up police presence against criminal elements and insurgency.
PNP chief Gen. Camilo Cascolan said the policemen will reinforce the barangay security officers, locally known as barangay tanod, in maintaining peace and order and in ensuring that every barangay will be shielded from influence of the communist rebels.
“We will be deploying at least two to man the barangay assistance centers. This deployment will be coordinated with the police stations concerned,” said Cascolan.
The deployment of policemen is an expansion of the existing Pulis sa Barangay program of the PNP, initiated during the past administration, wherein the goal is for the policeman to serve as the immediate commander of the barangay tanod.
But the program did not work as planned due to lack of police personnel that would oversee the peace and order in the more than 42,000 barangays across the country, some of them are in far-flung areas which put them at the mercy of the communist rebels.
Cascolan, however, is optimistic that the program would be a success this time, saying the installation of barangay assistance centers may also serve as a blueprint for other government agencies to replicate the program.
“This may pave way for some departments or some units that would want to base their assistance centers in the barangays and in doing so we would want to initiate first so that other government agencies will not be afraid to go down to the barangay level,” said Cascolan.
Aside from peace and order matters, Cascolan said the barangay police assistance desks will also focus on the enforcement of the quarantine rules.
“They will be assisting most especially when it comes to social distancing and the strict implementation of anti-COVID protocols. We will be there. As I have said we will double our visibility. The PNP has been doing this even before always, yearly,” said Cascolan.
The PNP has been encouraging the barangay officials to be more active in the fight against the COVID-19 at the community level, starting off with the strict enforcement of quarantine rules such as wearing of face masks and face shields, observance of physical distancing.
Policemen are also at the forefront of enforcing local ordinances ranging from curfew, smoking ban, liquor and drinking session ban and others.