Commentary: Housing projects for the PNP
By Nene A. Manzanares
Catarman, Northern Samar (21 February) -- One cannot truly measure the impact of the P300 million released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the housing and quartering projects of the Philippine National Police.
For some observers, it is just a mere construction project. Just one of the many projects of the government. But for the 64,700 police personnel who still have to own a place of their own, this project will not only give them a roof over their heads but the dignity of becoming full fledged homeowners.
Some of the moneyed and the affluent may not understand the plight of the ordinary policeman who until retirement would still be dreaming of owning a house. A house which he could transform into a home and where he could be with his family doing things together like most Filipino families do especially on special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas holidays to name just a few of these important "family events".
It is public knowledge that policemen do not really receive much in terms of compensation. Most of the time they are usually victims of usurers especially when they already have grown up children who should be sent to college.
It is ironic that with his job requiring him to be a peacemaker (and which puts his life on the line,) and yet, his compensation cannot really "compensate" if misfortune befalls him and he gets an untimely death or an injury that could maim him for life.
With the planned housing projects for policemen, they will no longer worry in the construction of their homes, and would instead focus on some other family projects like the education of their children.
The P300 million according to PNP spokesman Sr. Supt. Nicanor Bartolome is part of the P1.7 billion requested by the PNP from President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The money is meant to finance the ongoing three housing projects for the policemen who have yet to own a house.
The PNP housing projects under construction are located in Bicutan, Taguig City in Metro Manila and San Miguel, Bulacan and Baras, Rizal.
PNP chief Director General Avelino "Sonny" Razon Jr. said two more housing and quartering projects will be constructed in Camp Panopio, Quezon City and in Camp Castaņeda, Silang, Cavite.
We are hoping that such housing projects will reach the policemen living in the countryside. Central policymakers should realize that police action is not only seen in growth areas like Quezon City and Manila. Criminal acts are not only committed in big cities but also in the countryside especially if the big criminals choose "small towns" as their "rest and recreation" areas.
As part of the nation's gratitude for keeping the populace safe in their very homes, let us make the policemen feel what it is to be "at home". Let the housing projects expand and reach the countryside! (PIA-Northern Samar) [top]