DILG chief lauds PNP housing program
Iloilo City (26 October) -- Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Ronaldo Puno lauded the move of Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Oscar Calderon to make housing for cops a flagship project under his watch.
"Our policemen risk their lives each day to keep our homes and streets safe and yet most of them cannot even lead decent lives", said Puno in a press report.
Puno added that helping these policemen own a home would go a long way in improving their plight and keeping them away from the temptation of resorting to corrupt acts to make end s meet.
The DILG reported that 62 percent or 74,000 of the country's 120,000-strong police force do not have their own homes. Northern Mindanao recorded the highest number of homeless policemen with 68%, Cordillera Administrative and Central Visayas with 66% each and Eastern Visayas and Metro Manila with 62% each.
Contrary to the perception that many cops have enriched themselves because of their positions, Puno said, six out of 10 policemen live in poverty, with most of them forced to reside in squatters' shanties because of their meager salaries.
Housing programs for policemen have been made available through the Pulis Kalinga Housing Project where beneficiaries participate in the construction of their new homes. Most recent was the 6.2 hectare project site in Camp Macabulos Tarlac which will offer 200 housing units for PNP personnel in Tarlac and other areas. It is hoped that this will be followed by the construction of more housing units in a 40 hectare land project site in Camp Tecson in San Miguel, Bulacan.
Puno said to this date, 763,000 square meters of PNP properties in various parts of the country are being considered for possible development into housing subdivisions for police personnel.
Other available housing units for PNP personnel include the 1,142 on-base housing units located inside PNP camps and facilities; off-base housing units that were constructed with the participation of private developers which has benefited 2,681 police men and women; and the BCDA - Napolcom - PNP Housing Project in Diego Silang in Taguig with 2,190 beneficiaries.
He expressed optimism that Calderon would able to carry out his banner program of building more housing facilities across the country for PNP personnel.
The government is also coming up with measures to better compensate the policemen and address their concerns on housing and education for their children to reward their efforts in battling crimes. (PIA) [top]