Wake Up, Philippines!

51,000 cops have no guns

Posted in News Feature, PNP by Erineus on March 16, 2009

By Cecille Suerte Felipe Updated March 12, 2009 12:00 AM

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MANILA, Philippines – Almost half of police officers nationwide have no hand guns.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has not yet provided hand guns to 51,242 out of the 125,000 police officers nationwide.

The PNP also admitted that some of the 1,741 police station buildings nationwide are in a state of disrepair.

PNP chief Director General Jesus Verzosa said these are among the challenges being addressed by the PNP through the Integrated Transformation Program (ITP).

The concerns on firearms, police station buildings and mobility assets were discussed during the PNP-hosted multi-sectoral forum on police transformation held at the PNP Multi-Purpose Hall in Camp Crame, Quezon City yesterday attended by leaders and representatives from the religious, business, academe, non-governmental organizations, mass media and government sectors.

Verzosa said the forum aims to enlist the participation of the different sectors of society to come up with better solutions to issues and concerns on peace and order and internal security.

Chief Superintendent Lani-O Nerez, Deputy Director for Logistics, said that PNP has 51,757 units of 9mm pistols, 11,891 units of .38 revolvers and 10,110 pieces of .45 pistols, or a total of 73,758 short firearms.

On long firearms, Nerez said that the PNP has at present 4,213 units of 12-gauge shotguns, 48,456 M16 rifles, and 5,445 M-14 rifles or a total of 58,114 long firearms.

“Due to inadequate funds to procure firearms, the PNP prioritized issuance of firearms to PNP units and personnel in high risk areas,” Nerez said.

President Arroyo tapped the PNP in 2006 to adopt Internal Security Operations (ISO) in areas where the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is not present. PNP units involved in ISO need long firearms and the PNP has only procured a total of 3,964 units in the past six years.

“The yearly procurement of short firearms of 5,000 units per year is not enough to fill up the shortage,” Nerez reported. “The annual recruitment of an average of 3,000 police personnel needs the corresponding number of short firearms.”

“Only 691 or 40 percent of the 1,741 police station buildings are owned by the PNP, while 1,050 or 60 percent buildings are located on the property of local government units,” said Nerez,adding that “some of the existing PNP-owned police station buildings are deteriorating and in disrepair.”

Nerez pointed out that in some cases the budget for construction or repair of police station buildings come from local government officials, the general appropriations act (GAA) or private organizations.

The PNP also has a shortage of 12,714 vehicles out of the 22,303 units required.

Verzosa said the involvement of the community is a key factor in implementing the 10-year ITP sought by the PNP to make the police organization more capable, effective and credible.

“We are trying to address the dysfunctions in existing systems, procedures and programs, and by promoting within the PNP a culture of excellence, moral values and spirituality among all personnel,” said Verzosa.

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