The Committee on Public Order and Safety Consultative Meeting chaired by ACT-CIS party-list congressman Hon. Samuel D. Pagdilao Jr. presented the draft substitute bill of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Reorganization and Modernization Act on November 13, 2015 at around 9:00 a.m. at the Garden Orchid Hotel in Zamboanga City.
The consultative meeting was also attended by other members of congress, including Hon. Celso Lobregat-Congressman District I, Hon. Lilia Nuño, Congresswoman District II, Magdalo Partylist representative Hon. Francisco Ashley Acedillo, as well as local government officials headed by Zamboanga City Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, five hundred fifty-one selected personnel of Police Regional Office 9 headed by PSSUPT DEBOLD M SINAS, Deputy Regional Director for Operation, NAPOLCOM, National Support Units, PNP Retirees and media personalities.
Hon. Pagdilao Jr. was the Focal Point Chairperson of the activity. He showed gratitude and gave emphasis on their presence in Region 9 to solicit opinions concerning the draft substitute bill of the PNP Reorganization and Modernization Act, a bill that will ensure a more equipped Philippine National Police facing the challenges of promoting peace and order as well as challenges brought by criminality, terrorism and drugs. The purpose of advocating the crafting said law will enable the PNP achieve the tag as truly the premier law enforcement agency in the country.
Five contentious issues of the draft bill were consulted - the return to the military rank, lowering of educational requirement, professionalism of Philippine National Police, transfer of Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) and Philippine National Training Institute (PNTI) to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the provision of restrictive custody to erring PNP personnel.
The return to military rank is for the purpose of removing the public's confusion about addressing the police, wherein so much are still mentioning the PSUPT to Colonel, PCINSP to Major, etc. This also has something to do with the jest that whether an officer with the rank of inspector is a meat or bus inspector. Compared to some other countries, their state police carry military ranks. Also, some people in the media lack of understanding of the current ranks as seen sometimes in rendering police reports. Also, a new rank of Patrol Officer will be added intended for new recruits.
The issue on the proposed lowering of educational requirement from the current college graduate to seventy-two units in college upon recruitment is made to also include the less privileged but with exceptional talents to be included in the pool of recruits according to the resource persons.
Under the proposed law, PNP members who have not completed their college degree will be given a set number of years to finish college. They will only be promoted to the next rank when they acquire a college degree.
Another topic is the transfer of PNPA and PNTI to the PNP is based on the history of PNPA that started in 1980, wherein the Philippine Constabulary - Integrated National Police (PC-INP) was the one that exercised control and supervision of the trainings of future police officers, just like the PMA under the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The BJMP and BFP will now be part of the cadetship training of the Philippine National Police and eventually will undergo further training with their respective bureaus. Part also of the PNPA training is that when students reach the time in grade, they would be provided with training in pursuant to their entry as officers of those bureaus. The PNTI will now cater to higher learning such as masters and doctorate degrees subject to the approval of CHED.
Lastly, there is the provision of the restrictive custody that emphasize the role of PNP commanders to exercise disciplinary measures, the power to detain erring personnel especially those violates the law, so much like the authority of military commanders for the purpose of investigation.
The consultative meeting concluded at about 1:00 PM of same date with all concerned issues and agenda discussed to the participants.