Bohol pilots Napolcom’s "schools as peace zones" program
by Rey Anthony Chiu
Tagbilaran City (27 October) -- IN another possible breakthrough in peace and order, the National Police Commission and the Assumption College in Manila brings here in Loboc, Bohol its pilot project of promoting the schools as peace and order zones, moving the country’s efforts to create peace force multiplier effects amidst the country’s grave anemia of law enforcement resources and facilities.
No less than Boholano National Police Commissioner (NAPOLCOM) Bernardo Calibo and Assumption College’s Mayet Biliran brings here PCSupt. Edgardo Acuña and Napolcom Director Myrna Medina to personally discuss to the students of the secondary schools in Loboc the Philippine National Police Integrated Transformation Program, a year-old program that should have been cascaded to the rank and file of policemen across the country.
Shrouded in anomalies over reported ineffectivity of the police in crime prevention and control, police general Acuña shared the dire need to prop up law enforcement to salvage the abused police image.
In a department which gets P35B budget and 92% of it used for personnel services, the Philippine Nationa Police is left with barely a nibble for its maintenance and other operating expenses, shares Gen Acuña to the police officers and Loboc students gathered at the spacious Joventino A. Digal Complex fro the Seminar Workshop and launching of the Student’s Peace Council October 26-27 here.
There is gross shortage of funds and resources may have been one of the reasons why policemen are perceived to be ineffective, comments Gen. Acuña, who also suspects he has his roots here in this town.
Perhaps that is the reason why policemen supplement their incomes, some of them in illegal ways just to make both ends meet, a police officer who refused to be identified said.
In his powerpoint presentation on the Police Transformation program, Gen. Acuña stated that Philippine policemen are still the lowest paid police force all throughout Asia.
Now racked with problems grave shortage of patrol vehicles, water and aircraft, firearms, radio communication equipment, training funds and huge gaps in population ratios, the police need to be complemented with force multipliers, Gen. Acuña said.
The force multipliers may be the barangay tanods as deputized through a Department of Interior and Local Government push and the Napolcom’s Student peace council concept.
The seminar workshop and Napolcom-Assumption College partnership came a little over a month after the town also became the host for a National Peace Month Celebration’s peace concert with the homegrown Loboc Children’s Choir dubbed as Taghoy sa Kalinaw.
To the police force gathered during the event, the general who is the Senior program manager of the PNP Nationwide Integrated Transformation Program, he dared everyone to be very creative amidst the hindering situation.
“Your performance in your respective units would be dependent on your creativity. You should think outside the box,” he dared.
We are currently resolving the police organizational issues and improving the quality of police services as well as strengthening our law enforcement capabilities and the crucial help of the people and the community is the key, he said in a casual talk.
The general also sits as the deputy director of the police records and management has embarked on an ambitious police housing project with basically no funds at his disposal. The project though materialized with low rise buildings for police officers urban housing in Bicutan.
Arguing in line with the program he heads, the Camp Crame-based police official has astounded local police whose idea of a general fattening his butt in an air-conditioned office was busted with a visibly perspiring general doing an hour long lecture cascading the police transformation concept.
We are now taking in youth leaders to help the police ensure peace and order by declaring the schools as peace and order zones, he stressed.
The activity piloted in Loboc is hoped to be replicated in all schools all throughout the country, Assumption College’s Biliran said. (PIA) [top]