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Napolcom eyes boosting quality of police force


The National Police Commission (Napolcom) will push through with its bid to reform the recruitment process of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Napolcom Director Owen de Luna gave this assurance, noting government needs the best police force possible so the PNP can be more effective in maintaining peace and order nationwide.

"We'll institute the reforms this year," he said Saturday on the side of Kapihan sa Sulo forum in Quezon City.

Among reforms being considered is lengthening the period for evaluating PNP applicants.

De Luna noted this will enable authorities concerned to conduct more thorough background investigation on them.

This will also give authorities more time to better assess the applicant's qualifications and capabilities, he said.

"We musn't rush to get them even on temporary basis just to meet quota requirements," he added.

He noted PNP's recruitment process at present usually covers three to five months.

This process involves screening an applicant's documents, then checking such person's agility and neuro-psychiatric condition.

Napolcom supports the proposal to make neuro-psychiatric screening the first step in PNP's recruitment process, De Luna said.

It's better to reverse the process so mentally unfit applicants can be identified early on, he stressed.

To help further enhance PNP's performance, Napolcom aims to come up this year with a policy on sanctioning immediate superiors of erring policemen.

"Sanctions are needed because there must truly be a sense of accountability and hands-on supervision of our police," De Luna said.

He also said Napolcom will continue initiating its own investigation of alleged irregularities involving PNP personnel even if there are no complainants.

"Napolcom will do so once we hear of such irregularities," he said.

De Luna said Napolcom can even stand as temporary complainant if needed.

Also at the forum, a leader of the Magdalo group reiterated this organization's commitment to sustain efforts on bringing forth positive change nationwide.

"We'll continue advocating good governance," said Magdalo officer Capt. Gary Alejano.

He said the group remains an independent organization even if it already declared support for the present administration.

He urged all Filipinos to work towards achieving positive change, noting the Magdalo group can't do it alone.

"Bringing forth change is everyone's responsibility," he said.

Alejano reported the group has about 100,000 members at present.

Some years earlier, soldiers belonging to this group were jailed for protesting irregularities which they said hounded the armed forces.

Last year, Malacanang issued a proclamation granting them amnesty.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is among the Magdalo soldiers jailed earlier. His chief of staff, Atty. Rey Robles, said Trillanes continues working to improve employment conditions for the country's civil servants.

"We're looking at the Government Compensation Act to improve salary in government," Robles said during the forum.

He said Trillanes believes if government can appropriate money for its conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, it must provide funds for hiking civil servants' salaries.

Through CCT, government provides financial assistance to the country's most marginalized households.

By Catherine J. Teves-PNA

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