MANILA — A lawmaker pushes for the enactment of a bill seeking for the reorganization and modernization of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to strengthen the agency’s capability to successfully address the “high-tech” level at which criminals pursue their “trade.”
Rep. Erico Aristotle C. Aumentado (2nd District, Bohol) urged the enactment of the “National Bureau of Investigation Reorganization and Modernization Act” as contained in House Bill (HB) 5304.
“This is in consonance with the policy of the State to promote and maintain a modern, competent and highly trained investigative body, functionally integrated and national in scope,” Aumentado said.
“Law enforcement does not seem able nor capable to deliver and respond fast enough or good enough,” the author lamented.
He recalled that a version of this bill was adopted by both the Senate and the House during the previous Congress, but was, unfortunately overtaken by the adjournment without the bicameral conference action being ratified.
It was difficult to imagine how law enforcement could truly be efficient and effective if its growth and expansion were stifled by age-old organizational system and procedures and chained by too much financial restriction, the Bohol lawmaker said.
The Committee on Justice, to which the Aumentado bill has been referred to, is also in receipt earlier of a similar bill, HB 4556, authored by Rep. Ann K. Hofer (2nd District, Zamboanga Sibugay).
“Reorganization, modernization and expansion of the National Bureau of Investigation are long overdue,” Aumentado said.
The NBI – the equivalent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States – “is passionately eager to face the challenges of the present and the approaching millennium, but it needs to be adequately equipped in terms of developed human resources, state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, and necessary logistics for mobilization,” he said.
Furthermore, the proposed statute would pave the way for the NBI to reorganize and modernize to provide the agency the much needed capability to successfully address the “high-tech” level at which criminal pursue their “trade.”
“The NBI vision is to be capable of getting results at the flick of a finger, to be capable of responding quickly to the call to action of the people – all the time,” Aumentado said.
The lawmaker also said that the latest killings of members of media, judges, elective officials and other government officials have caught the attention of international organizations and those concerned sectors of the country on the government’s inability to solve crimes.
Under the bill, the NBI shall implement a modernization program geared towards the acquisition of state-of-the-art investigative and intelligence equipment and the establishment of forensic and scientific laboratories, including the provision for training of personnel.
Likewise, the investigative and non-investigative staff of the NBI should be increased and their positions upgraded to adequately meet the increasing demands of an expanded investigative and detective work.
The NBI should establish a Regional Office in every region and a Sub-Office in every province, to be headed by a Regional Director and Head Agent, respectively. Likewise, field offices in Congressional Districts should be established/maintained, according to the bill.
It also said that the present organizational structure of the NBI should be reorganized into the Office of the Director, Office of the Deputy Director for Administration and Office of the Deputy Director for Operations, Office of the Assistant Directors for Investigation Service, Intelligence Service, Comptroller Service, Internal Audit Service, forensic and Scientific Research Services, Legal Service, and Information and Communications Technology Service. Each of the Services shall be composed of the necessary divisions and sections.
The funds required for the implementation of the proposed Act, including employee benefits, would come from all collections from NBI clearance and certified fees; all Service incomes from training, DNA, Drug tests, Confirmatory and Neuro tests and the like; seizures; other miscellaneous incomes; and appropriations by Congress, as maybe necessary.
The bill provides that all incumbent personnel would continue in office and perform their duties as such, provided that the designated Deputy Director would continue in office as Deputy director and the incumbent Assistant Directors assumes as Assistant Directors of their respective or equivalent Services.
In addition, incumbent Special Investigators should be deemed Regular Agents, provided they meet the qualifications set forth under the proposed Act within two years from the time of its effectivity.