The Philippine National Police (PNP) is in need of around 4,000 civilian employees to fill in desk jobs of policemen who will be deployed to ease the lack of about 37,000 police officers in the country.
Yesterday, during a Senate hearing on the 2020 budget of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon pointed out the need to designate policemen to office work weakens their visibility, especially in urban areas.
“Why do we have policemen doing administrative work? Why don’t we hire personnel just for administrative work? The police officers are trained for peacekeeping. They are not trained to do office work,” Drilon told PNP chief Oscar Albyalde.
The senator also noted the presence of police officers in public is necessary as this has been recognized as an effective crime deterrent.
Albayalde, on the other hand, mentioned that the agency already had organized a program hiring 15,000 civilians, of which 11,768 positions had been occupied.
Despite that, the shortage in civilian workers makes the shortage in policemen even worse, according to PNP chief, saying that the DILG Act, or Republic Act No. 6975, has established police-to-population ratio of 1:500.
He also said the existing ratio looks almost ideal at 1:504, but 1:575 was the actual on-the-ground force. The discrepancy becomes more apparent when viewed by region.
In Manila, for instance, the ratio is at 1:525 but further increases in Central Luzon to 1:1,012 and in Calabarzon to 1:1,200.
Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. cited Bacoor City, with 520,216 population as of 2010, even had 1:3,404 police-to-population ratio.
Meanwhile, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año mentioned that there has been different deployment number as some police officers had to be delegated to “priority areas” where crimes are prevalent.
In addition, Año brought up that they have been receiving numerous applications now since the government offers higher pay for policemen. However, they cannot maximize these due to strict hiring requirements.
“In the (Armed Forces of the Philippines), you can already serve with a K-12 [education]. Here, you must be a college graduate and possess a civil service eligibility,” he said.
“That’s why it’s difficult to get recruits and fill the unfilled positions,” he added.
On another note, the 2020 budget covers PNP’s request for P3 billion for the recruitment of 10,000 police officers. Other than that, it also asks P757.6 million for the purchase of 496 vehicles that will help improve its law enforcement operations.