After 21 meetings, a technical working group (TWG) of the House Committee on Public Order and Safety completed the draft substitute bill on the Philippine National Police (PNP) Reorganization and Modernization Program.
Rep. Samuel D. Pagdilao (Party-list, ACT-CIS), TWG chairman, formally turned over the copy of the draft substitute bill to Rep. Jeffrey P. Ferrer (4th District, Negros Occidental), committee chairman, during a hearing last week on the PNP Plans and Programs, which was attended by new PNP chief Ricardo Marquez and other ranking police officers.
“We have belabored and had 21 TWG proceedings and discussions in order to come up with this consolidated bill. We’ve been delayed by circumstances beyond our control. There have been changes in the PNP leadership, and every change introduced changes to the bill as well,” said Pagdilao.
Pagdilao further said the delay was also partly caused by the varying views of the National Police Commission (Napolcom) and PNP on certain aspects of the draft substitute bill.
“With the appointment of a permanent PNP chief and after having our last TWG meeting, we now have the copy of the consolidated bill for submission to the Mother Committee which can now start deliberating on it,” said Pagdilao, a retired police general and former director of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
The lawmaker thanked members of the TWG including, Reps. Gwendolyn F. Garcia (3rd District, Cebu), Raneo E. Abu (2nd District, Batangas), who was panel vice chairman, Gary C. Alejano and Francisco Ashley L. Acedillo of Party-list Magdalo, Romeo M. Acop (2nd District, Antipolo City), Leopoldo N. Bataoil (2nd District, Pangasinan), Rufus B. Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City) and Randolf S. Ting (3rd District, Cagayan).
The TWG also thanked Atty. Marge Cuenco of the House Reference and Research Bureau and the members of the PNP organization, the Napolcom and all government agencies who gave their inputs on the bill.
Ferrer commended Pagdilao and the TWG members for their hard work, which resulted in the completion of the draft substitute bill. Likewise, he thanked the Napolcom, PNP and all government agencies concerned which participated in the TWG hearings.
“We are now in the position to discuss the substitute bill in the Mother Committee,” said Ferrer.
The bill substituted House Bills 2199, 2200 and 2201 of Bataoil, 2518 of Rodriguez, 2762 of Rep. Magnolia C. Antonino (4th District, Nueva Ecija), 2810 of Rep. Diosdado Macapagal Arroyo (2nd District, Camarines Sur), 4967 of Rep. Joseller “Yeng” M. Guiao (1st District, Pampanga) and 5595 of Rep. Karlo Alexei B. Nograles (1st District, Davao City), and also House Joint Resolutions 08 by Rep. Mariano U. Piamonte, Jr. (Party-list, A Teacher) and 09 by Rep. Marcelino R. Teodoro (1st District, Marikina City).
The bill outlines the six components of the PNP Reorganization and Modernization namely, organizational development, human resource development, doctrine development, infrastructure development, equipment acquisition, and financial development.
The organization development aspect includes powers and functions; rank classification; organizational structure; national support units; other key positions; general qualifications for appointment; and creation of the position of Patrol Officer.
Whereas, the human resource development aspect covers manpower build-up and training, transfer of jurisdiction of certain police learning institutions to the PNP and implementation; and doctrine and operational manual development.
For infrastructure and equipment development and modernization, these include infrastructure development and modernization; equipment acquisition and modernization; and procurement system.
As to the financial development aspect, this includes the PNP Modernization Act Trust Fund; austerity and use of savings; and exemption from value added tax and customs duties.
The bill also provides for the strengthening of the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) and this includes IAS organization and functions, qualification of the Inspector General, entry qualification of the IAS; retirement; promotion; recruitment; occupational pay and incentives; immediate supervisor and superior in IAS investigation; restrictive custody of personnel under investigation; disciplinary recommendations of the IAS; appeal; source of funds for IAS; and fiscal independence.
The final provisions of the bill include prioritization of projects; appropriation for the PNP modernization; period of implementation; Congressional Oversight Committee; review; implementing rules and regulations (IRR); and annual reports.